Fresno shooting leaves three dead with gunman 'shouting Allahu Akbar'

Our Foreign Staff
Fresno police stand next to a pile of clothes in front of a corner market in the neighborhood where shootings occurred - AP

Three people were killed on Tuesday in a shooting in Fresno, California, with the gunman shouting "Allahu Akbar" as he was arrested, police have said.

Kori Ali Muhammad, the 39-year-old suspect, told police he hated white people.

He is also believed to have shot a security guard last week outside a motel in the city. The guard died in hospital.

All three victims in Tuesday's killings were white. Jerry Dyer, the police chief, said they were shot minutes apart in close proximity in the downtown area of Fresno.

Mr Dyer reportedly said Muhammad is rapper who calls himself "Black Jesus". 

“What we know is that this was a random act of violence,” Mr Dyer said. “There is every reason to believe he acted alone.”

The shooting happened near a Catholic Charities building. Ashlee Wolf of Catholic Charities told the Fresno Bee newspaper that the shooting happened at a bus stop near the charity.

Ms Wolf said the charity did not believe the shooter was tied to Catholic Charities.

Lieutenant Mark Hudson, a police spokesman, said the FBI had been contacted about the killings and it was too early to say whether they were terror-related.

The scene of the shooting in Fresno

Up to 16 rounds were fired during the brief rampage. Muhammad faces four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, authorities said.

Mr Dyer said Muhammad was known to be homeless at times and had associated with gangs. He added that the suspect had a criminal history including for weapons violations, drugs and making terrorist threats.

The 39-year-old faces four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, authorities said.

Mr Hudson said the weapon used in the killings had not been recovered.

He said Muhammad would make his first court appearance within 48 hours.

The rampage is likely to reignite a long-running debate in the US on gun control, an issue that has dogged successive administrations.

More than 30,000 people are killed by gun violence in the United States every year, half of them between the ages of 18 and 35, according to statistics.

So far this year, there have been 17,668 incidents involving guns nationwide and 4,399 fatalities, Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit group, said on its website.

It said the victims include 183 children up to 11 years old and 910 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17.

In numbers | US gun violence


RegisterLog incommenting policy