Three dead as man goes on killing spree in California town

Jane Richards
April 19, 2017

Muhammad, 39, will face four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, officials said.

On Tuesday morning, police say Muhammad stalked the streets of downtown Fresno, fatally shooting three white men with a.357 revolver.

Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer, front, briefs reporters in Fresno, Calif., after a shooting Tuesday, April 18, 2017. It provides a variety of services for refugees, the homeless and those for disabilities. The third victim was a Pacific Gas & Electric employee riding in a company truck. A fourth man was shot at, though he was not wounded. The driver managed to flee the scene and drove to Fresno Police headquarters for help.

The second shooting was only a few seconds later and was at Van Ness and Mildreda Street, where the gunman shot at but missed a resident. He said Muhammad made other statements to police but he did not disclose them.

Muhammad told officers at his arrest that he was the guy they were looking for, Dyer said.

Fresno police chief says a man arrested after killing three people told investigators he wanted to kill as many white people as possible after seeing he was wanted in the death of a security guard. The term means "God is great" in Arabic. That shooting was "unprovoked", Dyer said.

"This is exclusively based on race, and it had nothing to do with terrorism in spite of the statement he made", Dyer said at a news conference. "There is every reason to believe he acted alone".

On social media, he referred to white people as "devils".

Witnesses reported the gunman sprayed rounds while reloading and cursing. Dyer said he surrendered to a responding officer without incident and later apologized to the chief.

Dyer says police have called the FBI to assist in the investigation.

At 10:54 a.m., a report of a man down was reported at 215 N. Fulton St., about a block from Catholic Charities.

Following the shooting, Fresno city spokesman Mark Standriff said county offices were placed on lockdown, and people were urged to shelter in place. Then, he stopped and calmly ejected spent shell casings from the weapon and reloaded near a bus stop south of Nevada. The final victim, 58, was gunned down in the parking lot of a charity building.

“It could have been me, ” moaned one man. "We are very sorry for this to happen".

Ghazvini offered prayers to the victims and their families. Few other details were immediately known.

Other reports by VgToday

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