Kori Ali Muhammad, the man who police say took three lives in downtown Fresno, Calif., on Tuesday, intended to go on a lethal rampage once he found out that he was being sought for an earlier homicide, according to new details Muhammad provided to police.
According to ABC News, Muhammad gave police details about his movements and the killings over several hours of questioning following his arrest, even returning with officers to the crimes scenes and demonstrating his actions. The FBI is now investigating the shootings as a hate crime because Muhammad, who is Black, told police he intended to harm Whites.
“As he spoke about the shooting and shooting individuals, he did so in a very callous manner,” said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
From what he told police, after the original shooting in which he is accused of killing Carl Williams, 25, an unarmed security guard at a Motel 6 who he had argued with, Muhammad ran behind the motel and climbed onto the roof of a nearby 7-Eleven, where he hid through Thursday night. On Friday morning, he watched police officers investigate the crime scene and later hid in a ravine, where he told police he held voodoo rituals for three days.
Once in the ravine Muhammad told police he sought to alter his appearance by cutting his braided hair. Afterwards as he went looking for crystals for more rituals, he went to a Starbucks to use the Internet, where he first learned he was wanted for murder. According to Dyer, Muhammad then told police “he was not going to go down for shooting a security guard for disrespecting him but that he was going to kill as many White males as possible.”
Shortly before 11 a.m. on Tuesday, he says that he approached two men sitting in a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. truck in downtown Fresno. Muhammad told police he noticed the driver was Latino and the passenger was White, and four rounds into the passenger side. He killed Zackary Randalls, 34, a father of two preschoolers who had just started work as a customer-service representative for the utility and was doing a ride-along.
Within the next three minutes, police say Muhammad killed two others and shot at several more, firing 17 rounds.
Muhammad finally saw a police car, which had arrived within minutes of the initial shots, then dropped two necklaces he had been holding that he said were charms to ward off evil and gave himself up to police, Dyer said
“I did it. I shot them,” Muhammad told officers as they arrested him, according to the chief.
The gun Muhammad used in the shooting spree was picked up by a man he briefly encountered in a parking lot. Police are pleading for the man to turn the weapon in.