A gunman with an apparent dislike of white people and government killed three people in downtown Fresno, California, on Tuesday, before he was taken into custody while shouting “Allahu Akhbar,” police said.
The suspect, identified as 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, was also wanted in connection with the fatal shooting last week of an unarmed security guard at a Motel 6 in Fresno, Police Chief Jerry Dyer told reporters at a press conference.
Dyer said Muhammad fired at least 16 rounds in less than a minute at four downtown Fresno locations at about 10:45 a.m. local time before he was spotted running through the streets by a police officer.
“Immediately upon the individual seeing the officer he literally dove onto the ground and was taken into custody and as he was taken into custody he yelled out ‘Allahu Akhbar,'” Dyer said. The term means “God is great” in Arabic.
“He does not like white people,” Dyer said, citing the black suspect’s statements after being arrested and his Facebook postings. At least two of his victims were white.
Dyer said his department had contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the incident.
The Fresno Bee newspaper reported that the gunman opened fire with a large-caliber handgun while cursing shortly before 11 a.m. near a Catholic Charities building.
Fresno is an agricultural hub in California’s central valley, about 170 miles southeast of San Francisco.
County government buildings were placed on lockdown and residents were urged to shelter in place, according to the newspaper.
Local television images showed what appeared to be a body covered in a yellow tarp in a street near where police tape marked off several crime scenes.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Steve Gorman; Editing by Richard Chang)