Police Chief: Man Yelled 'Allahu Akbar' at End of Shooting Rampage
Three people were killed in downtown Fresno, Calif., by a gunman wanted in an earlier homicide who reportedly yelled "Allahu Akbar" as police moved in to arrest him.
Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, had been wanted in the shooting of unarmed security guard Carl Williams, 25, at a Motel 6 last Thursday.
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Police said at the time that Muhammad was homeless and considered armed and dangerous.
At about 10:45 a.m. today, shots were fired into a Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) vehicle, killing the passenger. The driver managed to flee the scene and drove to Fresno Police headquarters for help.
The shooter, believed to be Muhammad, then began walking and fired at a neighborhood resident but missed, police said, before he encountered another local resident and shot that person to death. The spree ended as he reloaded at a bus stop, walked to Catholic Charities and killed another person in the parking lot.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Muhammad hit the ground as officers approached, yelling "Allahu Akbar" as he was being arrested; witnesses said he was cursing while shooting. Police found bullets on the shooting suspect but no gun, and K9 units were called in to hunt for a weapon.
Dyer said the "Allahu Akbar" wasn't said at the scene of the Motel 6 shooting last week, which was captured on video, and it was too early to determine if today's rampage was terrorism.
“What we know is that this was a random act of violence,” Dyer said. “There is every reason to believe he acted alone.”
The chief said the suspect's social media indicated “he does not like white people, and he has anti-government sentiments."
Imam Seyed Ali Ghazvini of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno said Muhammad is "not known in our community, and we are in touch with other communities to see if he was a member or not."
"We have a very active relationship with all branches of state and federal law enforcement agencies in the Valley to make them aware of possible extremism within our area," Ghazvini said.
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand called it "a sad day for us all."
"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. None of us can imagine what they must be going through. I am grateful for the quick and decisive response of our Police Department in preventing further senseless violence
Fresno Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) tweeted, "My prayers are w/ the victims, families & first responders who've been impacted by today's horrific shooting tragedy."