Three people were shot and killed in downtown Fresno, Calif., on Tuesday after a man went on a shooting spree near a Catholic Charities facility. According to Police Chief Jerry Dyer, the 39-year-old suspect Kori Ali Muhammad is now in custody and is suspected of shooting and killing a security guard in central Fresno last week.
Dyer claimed Muhammad told police that he hates white people and yelled, “God is great” in Arabic before carrying out the murders. All three of his victims in Tuesday’s killings were white, Dyer said, noting that two of the victims shot outside the Catholic Charities are believed to have been clients of the social service agency, not employees. The third victim was Pacific Gas & Electric employee, and a fourth person was shot at but not injured.
The gunman reportedly walked up to a Pacific Gas & Electric truck and repeatedly shot the passenger before the driver sped away. Then, he shot at and missed another resident before unloading several rounds on another man, killing him. Muhammad then allegedly reloaded at a bus stop and shot and killed the third victim in the Catholic Charities parking lot. Officers responding to the incident later found him running south, where he dove to the ground and shouted, “Allahu Akbar” before being taken into custody.
“What we know is that this was a random act of violence,” Dyer said, adding that it’s too soon to determine whether the shootings were acts of terrorism. “There is every reason to believe he acted alone.”
Muhammad is believed to have carried out a fatal shooting last week at a Fresno Motel 6, as it was caught by surveillance video. Police are investigating four separate crimes scenes in connection to today’s tragedies and are still searching for the murder weapon, because the suspect was not found with it on him. He is now facing four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.