Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

California gunman to appear in court on murder count


Muhammad is black. The victims were white. A memorial of candles and flowers honors victims of Tuesday's shooting outside Catholic Charities Wednesday, April 19, 2017 in Fresno, Calif. Mark Gassett, 37, of Fresno, had just picked up groceries at a Catholi.

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

"They were his whole world", his friend, Jonathan Gilbert, said.

His criminal record also includes making criminal threats, forgery, false imprisonment and driving under the influence, online records state.

The speedy arrest in this case may have averted another tragedy, he said.

Muhammad is a convicted felon on previous drug charges and will be charged with illegal possession of a firearm, as California law requires.

Muslim and other faith leaders held a vigil late Tuesday near the scene where three people were killed in a shooting rampage in downtown Fresno. He then gunned down 58-year-old David Jackson in the Catholic Charities parking lot.

The two were waiting for the bus when authorities say Kori Ali Muhammad, who is black, targeted the white men at random.

Mark Gassett had just picked up groceries at a Catholic Charities building when he was gunned down. "They're saying pick one".

Jackson's neighbor, Veronica Estrada, said that "there's always violence in this neighborhood". He also fired one shot at a vehicle before realizing it contained Hispanic women.

Muhammad, who can be seen in YouTube videos rapping about shooting "white devils, " opened fire into the passenger side of their company truck, killing Randalls. The gunman pumped two more rounds into Gassett as he lay on the ground, police said.

Jackson said "it's a trick of the left" to claim that Muhammad's crime couldn't be both religious and racist in nature. He shot and the men scattered.

In Muhammad's view, "white people were responsible for keeping the black people down", said Dyer, who described Muhammad as "callous and laughing" throughout the interview.

Muhammad's father, Vincent Taylor, told the Los Angeles Times that his son believed he was part of an ongoing war between whites and blacks and that "a battle was about to take place".

He surrendered while shouting: "Allahu Akhbar", which means "God is great" in Arabic, police said, adding they had not yet recovered the weapon Muhammad discarded. "We are also processing the box of food as well as the items contained within that box to learn of his identity", Dyer said.

Muhammad told them he wanted to kill as many white men as possible, according to detectives.

"He wouldn't want this to turn into any type of hateful reaction from anybody in the public", Valencia said.

The man accused of a racially motivated shooting rampage in Fresno has been charged with one count of first-degree murder in the killing of a motel security guard days earlier.

Williams was a hard-working security guard who earned the rank of supervisor at Monument Security. Dyer said Muhammad appeared to be proud of what he'd done.

The suspect then fled and hid on a gas station roof. "And that is what he set out to do that day", Dyer says. He was allowed to speak to his mother and told her not to worry about him because his "magic" is strong.

On Tuesday, police said, he acted on that hatred.

Williams, 25, was working as a security guard for Monument on April 13 at Motel 6 when he was shot at close range by the gunman. He told her he loved her, too.

It was not immediately clear why security got involved, but the woman started arguing with Carl Williams, a 25-year-old unarmed security guard, police said.

Muhammad - born Kori McDonald - will be arraigned Friday morning on that murder charge.

A Facebook profile page for a Kori Ali Muhammad from Fresno paid homage to black pride and black nationalism, with images of the red, green and black Pan-African flag and a raised fist.

The entire course of events lasted last than four minutes.

Randalls was driven to police in a PG&E truck, Dyer said Tuesday.

Pal Eddie Valencia who was with Randalls as life ebbed out of him, said his friend was colour blind. Zackary Randalls, 34, died.

Two others also were shot and killed. That he was going to kill as many white males as possible.

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