Fresno police say deadly shooting race related, not act of terrorism

Laura Anthony Image
ByLaura Anthony KGO logo
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Police say deadly shooting in Fresno race related
Police say a man accused of fatally shooting three people in Fresno Tuesday was wanted for a previous killing last week.

FRESNO, Calif. (KGO) -- Police say a man accused of fatally shooting three people in Fresno Tuesday was wanted for a previous killing last week.

RELATED: Suspect accused of fatally shooting 3 in Fresno taken into custody

The shooting started near downtown Fresno just before 11 a.m., when police say Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, shot and killed a man sitting in the passenger side of a PG&E truck. "The victim is in a PG&E truck, not sure if he was caught in the crossfire," a 911 dispatcher said.

Witnesses said the suspect then reloaded a large handgun and shot two more people, including at least one near Catholic charities - all of the victims were white men.

Seconds later, Muhammad was tackled by a Fresno police officer and was heard shouting the Arabic phrase for God is great. "All 16 of these rounds were fired in less than a minute within four different locations," Fresno Department Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

Police said Muhammad was wanted in the murder last Thursday of a 25-year-old Motel 6 security guard named Carl Williams. And that Muhammad had recently posted racist comments about white people on his Facebook page, including threats to President Trump.

At this point, Dyer said there's no clear link to terrorism. "All the shootings that occurred today were random. All three victims were approached by him. They were unprovoked attacks," he said.

The shooting spree ended on Fulton Street where the suspect was apprehended.

According to court records, Muhammad used numerous aliases before officially changing his name.

His criminal record dates back to 1998.

And prior to this last week, his most serious run in with the law happened in Fresno back in 2004.

In that incident, he was arrested on a parole violation and when officers searched his car they found drugs and three loaded guns.

He tried to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, but changed his plea when officers wanted a psychiatrist to examine him. So, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nearly nine years in jail.

PG&E officials released a statement saying: "..No training or protective equipment can prepare one for events outside of one's control."

The company announced it will send additional resources to help support employees in the Central Valley.

Click here for full coverage on the Fresno shooting spree.