A gunman who shouted “Allahu akbar” as he murdered three white men at random yesterday in a shooting spree through downtown Fresno, Calif., had voiced his hatred of whites online, police said.The man police identified as Kori Ali Muhammad was just “shooting, shooting, shooting” as he ran through the streets, a horrified witness told the Herald.
“He was running. Then, three, four shots. He’s was trying to get more bullets,” said Maria Praise, the owner of the nearby residential care facility, Home Sweet Home, explaining that the gunman was reloading as he ran. “I was in the backyard when I heard the shooting, and then I said, ‘No this is something wrong.’ I looked and I saw a man, close to the alley.
“I told everybody to lock the door and get inside and don’t open the door,” Praise added. “We saw the dead body and everybody running. This poor gentleman on the floor.”
Praise said she didn’t hear the suspect speaking or yelling as he ran down the street toward a Catholic Charities building.
“He was just shooting, shooting, shooting,” Praise said. “He was just bam, bam, bam — that’s it.
Muhammad, 39, who is black, was arrested shortly after the morning rampage that left three white men dead, police said. Muhammad, who was still running when police got him and had fired at a fourth man and missed, fired 16 rounds in the space of one minute at four places within a block. Police were still looking for the revolver yesterday.
Muhammad was already wanted in the killing of a security guard at a Motel 6 last week. The security guard also was a white man.
Yesterday, Muhammad walked up to a utility truck and shot a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. employee, police said. Another victim was gunned down in the parking lot of a Catholic Charities building.
“These individuals who were chosen today did not do anything to deserve what they got,” Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer said. “These were unprovoked attacks by an individual that was intent on carrying out homicides today. He did that.”
It’s too soon to say whether Muhammad, who was homeless, had links to any terrorist groups or causes, Dyer said.
On what appeared to be Kori Ali Muhammad’s Facebook page, he repeatedly posted “#LetBlackPeopleGo” and encouraged “black warriors” to “mount up.” A posting Monday says, “My kill rate increases tremendously on the other side.” He also posted about “white devils” and, on several occasions, posted status updates that included the phrase “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic.
Seyed Ali Ghazvini, imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, said Muhammad was not a member of his congregation and he did not recognize him.
Praise told the Herald, “It’s very sad what’s going on. There’s such a hatred. We, the neighbors, we all got together and we cried.”
Muhammad has a criminal history that includes arrests on weapons, drugs and false imprisonment charges and making terrorist threats, police say. He had been associated with gangs but was not considered a validated member.
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