By Victor Ochieng
A Fresno man is in police custody for killing three people in a Tuesday shooting spree. As the police arrested the man, who goes by the nickname “Black Jesus,” he shouted, “Allah is the greatest.”
Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, went on a shooting rampage in which he shot a man on Fulton Street, killed another in front of a Catholic Charities facility, with the two killings coming after he fatally shot another man in a Pacific Gas and Electric truck. He could’ve killed a fourth person, but he missed his target and was fast apprehended by officers.
Within just one minute, a total of 16 rounds were fired.
The incident came just hours after law enforcement officers tagged Muhammad as a suspect in last week’s shooting in which a security guard was killed at Motel 16. He has been charged with four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
“What we know is that this was a random act of violence,” Police Chief Jerry Dyer told news reporters. “There is every reason to believe he acted alone.”
Despite declaring “Allahu Akbar,” detectives concluded that Muhammad’s was an act of hate that targeted white people as opposed to religious extremism. According to the police, they came to the conclusion after considering Muhammad’s previous expressions of hate towards white people on Facebook, as well as his critic against the government.
“Let black people go or the doom increases. Reparations and separation now,” Muhammad posted on Facebook this past weekend.
“We do not believe based on the information we have today that this is a terrorist-related crime,” Dyer said. “Based on the information that we have been provided, and our investigation has shown, that this is solely based on race. It has nothing to do with terrorism, in spite of the statements he made.”
Muhammad’s grandmother, Glenestene Taylor, told Los Angeles Times that her grandson’s real name is Kori Taylor and that Muhammad behaved differently when they interacted on Sunday.
“These individuals that were chosen today did not anything to deserve what they got,” Dyer said. “These were unprovoked attacks.”
Pacific Gas and Electric mourned the death of one of their workers. In a statement, the company said, “Our hearts are very heavy today, as we have lost a member of our PG&E family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our employee, and all those impacted by this tragic event.”
Fresno City Mayor Lee Brand sent out his condolences to the affected persons.
“This is a sad day for us all. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,” he said. “None of us can imagine what they must be going through.”