California gunman to appear in court on murder count

FRESNO Fresno Police chief Jerry Dyer reviews notes on the triple fatal shooting before addressing the media. — AP

Kori Ali Muhammad from Fresno often talked of liberating black people, facing discrimination as an African American man with a criminal record and the injustice of the "white man holding us down".

Muhammad's father, Vincent Taylor, said that his son believed there was a race was going on in America.

He said he joined the Nation of Islam and in 1995, when he was 17, and attended the Million Man March in D.C.as a lieutenant.

Kori Ali Muhammad randomly killed 3 men in Fresno, CA on Tuesday. Pastors and church leaders gather for a final prayer following a prayer walk for the victims of Tuesday's triple-homicide near downtown Fresno, Calif., Thursday, April 20, 2017.

Dyer says Muhammad claims he did so out of respect for the officer and to show the courage of conviction for his alleged crimes and the reasoning behind them.

After the original shooting, Muhammad ran behind the motel and climbed onto the roof of a nearby 7-Eleven, where he hid through Thursday night. Police Chief Jerry Dyer said it was too early to say if the attack was connected to terrorism. Muhammad was arrested on Tuesday shortly after the deadly morning rampage that left several dead according to police.

Dyer said that officers witnessed Muhammad yell "Allahu akbar" at the scene of the shooting. "We are also processing the box of food as well as the items contained within that box to learn of his identity", Dyer said.

"He said he is Muslim, but prays to seven different gods", the police chief said.

"Kill a racist devil dead, cut of they head, put a bullet in they head, and get that bread", Muhammad continued. He had been associated with gangs but he was not a confirmed member, police say. He ended up at a Starbucks, where he saw a news report that he was identified as a suspect in the security guard's death.

On the night of April 13th police responded to the Motel 6 on Blackstone Avenue, where guard Carl Williams had been shot.

"And that's what he set out to do".

After that moment, Dyer said Muhammad approached two men in PG&E truck. The suspect noticed the driver was Hispanic, and the passenger was white. Randalls had a wife and two young children, according to police. He then fired two shots at but missed another white male. The gunman pumped two more rounds into Gassett as he lay on the ground, police said.

It wasn't until Tuesday, when Muhammad saw on the local news that he was a suspect in the murder of the guard, that Muhammad made a decision to kill more. They spoke. The man then took the gun from Muhammad and fled. The suspect showed no remorse, police said.

Muhammad starting running, until he saw a police auto, which was there within minutes. Federal prosecutors said at the time that he was also in possession of a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and two rifles after being convicted of a felony.

Dyer described Muhammad as an extremely callous man.

But he said he doesn't think Muhammad is a terrorist driven by religious extremism.

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