Kori Ali Muhammad was taken into police custody after shooting three white men in Fresno, Ca. Muhammad, 39, opened fire while on foot and killing all three victims.
The shooting began around 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday in downtown Fresno and went on for 60 to 90 seconds, according to CNN. The first victim was the 34-year-old passenger in a PG&E truck and the other two, 37 and 58 years old, were clients of a nearby Catholic Charities office, which is a social service agency.
After firing off up to four flurries of gunfire, Muhammad “dove to the ground” after a nearby officer spotted him. Witnesses report that he yelled out “Allahu akbar” while being taken into custody.
Investigators found that Muhammad changed his name from Kori Taylor when he was a teenager and later came to the conclusion that there was a war brewing between white and black people. His actions on Tuesday are likely to be deemed as a hate crime, but not an act of terrorism according to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
“If in fact he’s lashing out at white people — white males in this case — that would constitute a hate crime,” Dyer said. “We believe it is a hate crime, definitely a hate crime.”
Police also suspect that Muhammad may have been responsible for the shooting death of a security guard last week. The security guard was also a white man.
After police released Muhammad’s image following last week’s shooting, he reportedly changed his appearance and was determined to “kill as many people as he could.”
“He made a decision to himself that he was not going to go to jail for shooting a security guard, that he was going to kill as many people as he could today and that’s what he set out to do,” the police chief said.
Muhammad’s Facebook profile depicted imagery of pan-Africanism, teachings from the Nation of Islam and demands for reparations for all black people.
“This is a sad day for us all. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,” Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said in a statement. “None of us can imagine what they must be going through.”
Although it’s completely unrelated, conservative members of the media have hinted at a connection between the shooting Muhammad orchestrated as well as those by Steve Stephens and Cedric Anderson. While the latter two are surely connected to male fragility and toxic masculinity, these incidents shouldn’t be taken as signs of a brewing armed uprising of any sort. Treating it as such would likely lead to harmful results especially for Black men in the United States.