California gunman laughed as he explained shootings, said he ‘did not like white people’
The black gunman suspected of killing three white men in a racially motivated attack in Fresno was proud of what he had done and laughed many times as he explained his actions in interviews with police, authorities said Wednesday.world Updated: Apr 20, 2017 08:48 IST
The black gunman suspected of killing three white men in a racially motivated attack in Fresno was proud of what he had done and laughed many times as he explained his actions in interviews with police, authorities said Wednesday.
After Kori Ali Muhammad learned that he was wanted in the death of a security guard last week, he decided to take out as many other white men as possible before he was caught, Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer said.
“That’s what he set out to do that day. He said he did not like white men and said white people were responsible for keeping black people down,” Dyer said.
Muhammad “is not a terrorist but he is a racist,” Dyer said.
The suspect was candid in explaining his actions from Thursday night to Tuesday morning, when he fired 16 rounds in less than two minutes and killed three white men on the same block, the police chief said.
Meanwhile, family and friends mourned the four men.
Francine Williams described her 25-year-old son, Carl Williams, as a kind and giving person who had recently gotten engaged. Williams was a manager at a Toys R’ Us who was at his second job when Muhammad shot and killed him at a Motel 6.
She said Wednesday she was in shock, but also at peace because she had the chance to tell him how much she loved him and how proud she was of him a few days before his death. He told her loved her too.
“So, I’m very, very, very grateful that I was able to say goodbye, maybe not at that moment, but prior to that,” she said.
Zackary Randalls was the first to die on Tuesday when Muhammad walked up to a Pacific Gas & Electric truck and fired into the passenger seat. The driver sped to the police department for help, but Randalls could not be saved.
Friend Eddie Valencia said Randalls was excited to start work as a customer-service representative and was doing a ride-along Tuesday. He described the 34-year-old as an open-minded person with a sharp wit and a big heart.
He said his friend, who left behind two preschoolers and a wife in Clovis, would not want people to feel anger toward the shooter.
“He wouldn’t want people to be divided by this,” Valencia said. “There were no boundaries with race, religions, beliefs, with anything. If you were a good person and basically could have a good conversation, he would call you a friend. He was a stand-up guy.”
Muhammad also shot Mark Gassett, 37, of Fresno, after he had picked up groceries at a Catholic Charities building. Police said the suspect pumped two more rounds into him as Gassett lay on the ground.
He then shot in the direction of a bus stop where he had spotted three white males, police said. They scattered, and Muhammad picked the one who was older and appeared heavier, David Jackson, 58, of Fresno.
“That was going to be his target, and he caught up with him and he fired two rounds into this individual,” Dyer said.
Two Latina women and a child also crossed paths with Muhammad, who pointed the gun at them as they sat in their car trying to flee, but he did not shoot.
Muhammad, 39, was arrested shortly after the rampage. He is expected to be charged with four counts of murder and arraigned Friday. He could face the death penalty.
The suspect showed no remorse while detailing his whereabouts and laughed many times, Dyer said.
Muhammad hid out in a ravine after the motel shooting and practiced voodoo rituals after the motel slaying. He also told investigators he is Muslim, but he prays to seven different gods and has not been to a mosque in 25 years.
On Tuesday, he headed over to a store called The Brass Unicorn, hoping to buy some crystals. But it was closed, so he popped into a Starbucks where he learned he was wanted in the killing of the guard.
The suspect told his family there was a war going on between blacks and whites in America. He posted on social media about black separatism, reparations, the “Black Lives Matter” movement and “white devils.”
On what appeared to be Muhammad’s Facebook page, he repeatedly posted “#LetBlackPeopleGo” and encouraged “black warriors” to “mount up”. A flurry of posts emerged in the past day.
Muhammad has a criminal history that includes arrests on weapons, drugs and false-imprisonment charges. He has also been accused of making terrorist threats and been associated with gangs, but he was not a confirmed member, police said.
First Published: Apr 20, 2017 08:45 IST