Sunday 30 April 2017

US shooter kills three white men at random

A Fresno police detective stands over the body of one of the three shooting victims. Photo: John Walker/Fresno Bee via AP
A Fresno police detective stands over the body of one of the three shooting victims. Photo: John Walker/Fresno Bee via AP

Scott Smith Fresno, California

A black gunman suspected of randomly shooting three men to death in Fresno, California told police he wanted to kill as many white people as possible before he was captured, authorities said.

The victims happened to be on the same block at the same time on Tuesday but had no known connection to each other or to Kori Ali Muhammad, police chief Jerry Dyer said. "These were unprovoked attacks," Mr Dyer said.

One victim, a 34-year-old father-of-two pre-school children, was shot in the passenger seat of a Pacific Gas & Electric utility truck. The driver was not hit and sped towards the police department, but his partner could not be saved.

Another victim, a 37-year-old man, had just gone shopping at a Catholic Charities building when he was gunned down. His body was draped in a blanket on the footpath leading to Stephen Hughes's home.

"It looks like a guy carrying his groceries home from the store," said Mr Hughes (66), who rushed home after receiving a frantic call about the shootings from a neighbour.

The third victim, a 59-year-old man, was gunned down in the parking lot of the charity's building. 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 was expected to be charged with four counts of murder - one each for Tuesday's three victims plus the slaying of a white Motel 6 security guard who was killed last week.

Police had been looking for Muhammad in the death of the guard, 25-year-old Carl Williams. Muhammad said seeing his name and picture in a news release on Tuesday morning helped spur the attacks in which he fired 16 rounds in less than two minutes at four places within a block.

"I did it. I shot them," Muhammad told officers as they arrested him, according to the chief. During the arrest, Muhammad shouted "Allahu Akbar", or "God is great", but the shootings had "nothing to do with terrorism in spite of the statement he made", Mr Dyer said. "This is solely based on race," he said.

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

Police were searching for the revolver Muhammad said he tossed into a pile of clothing.

Irish Independent

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