FRESNO, California — The Fresno killing spree that left several families fatherless started when the gunman thought a man disrespected him.
So, police say, he killed him.
But the shooter didn’t want to go down in history for just one slaying, police said. So he vowed to eliminate as many white men as he could.
It’s one of many new details suspect Kori Ali Muhammad revealed in an hourslong statement to investigators, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Wednesday. He said Muhammed took detectives to the scenes of his killings to explain where and how they happened.
Here’s how police say a fatal argument at a motel led to the deaths of three more men, allegedly victims of hate crimes.
Thursday: The dispute at a Motel 6
Muhammad was meeting a woman at a Motel 6 Thursday night when he was contacted by security, Dyer said.
It was not immediately clear why security got involved, but the woman started arguing with Carl Williams, a 25-year-old unarmed security guard, police said.
“What Kori (Muhammad) said was that he fired his weapon at Carl Williams because he felt that Carl Williams had disrespected him,” Dyer said.
As Williams lay mortally wounded, Muhammad ran to a nearby 7-Eleven and climbed on top of the roof. From there, Dyer said, he watched police investigate his crime scene.
Friday: Hiding next to a school dumpster
After spending the night on top of the 7-Eleven, Muhammad waited to make sure officers left the area and then climbed down Friday morning, the police chief said.
Muhammad then went to a nearby school, “where he hid out by a trash dumpster,” Dyer said.
He said Muhammad then took a city bus and ended up at a ravine, which would become his hideaway for the next few days.
Friday through Monday: On the run
While hiding in the ravine, Muhammad practiced voodoo rituals, Dyer said.
“He said he is Muslim, but prays to seven different gods,” the police chief said.
Dyer said he doesn’t think the suspect’s desire to kill stemmed from religious views, but rather racist views.
“He said he did not like white men, and that white people were responsible for keeping the black people down,” the police chief said.
On Tuesday, police said, he acted on that hatred.
Tuesday: Three white men killed
Muhammad walked to Fresno’s Tower District — a bustling area full of shops, businesses and restaurants. He ended up at a Starbucks, where he saw a news report that he was identified as a suspect in the security guard’s death.
“What he told our detectives last night was that once he saw that he was wanted for murder, he was not going to go down for shooting a security guard for disrespecting him — but that he was going to kill as many white males as possible,” Dyer said Wednesday.
“And that’s what he set out to do.”
At 10:43 a.m., Muhammad approached two men in a parked Pacific Gas and Electric Co. truck, Dyer said. The suspect noticed the driver was Hispanic, and the passenger was white.
“He intentionally targeted the white male,” Dyer said.
Zackary Randalls, a 34-year-old father of two young children, was killed.
As Muhammad fled, he found another white man — 37-year-old Mark Gassett — on a sidewalk.
Muhammad shot Gassett in the chest, Dyer said. After the victim fell to the ground on his back, “Kori Muhammad then stood over him and fired two more rounds into him while he was lying on the ground.”
The suspect fled again and found three white men at a bus stop.
The men fled, and the gunman chased one of them — eventually catching up at the parking lot of Catholic Charities. Police said he fired twice at that victim.
David Jackson, 58, died at the scene.
When Muhammad later saw a police car, he surrendered. But why?
“First, he said he respected Fresno police officers (and) did not want to force them to shoot him,” Dyer said. “At the same time, he said he was not a coward.”
Wednesday: Police say Mohammed is not a terrorist
Dyer described Muhammad as an extremely callous man. At times, the suspect laughed while detailing the killings to police.
But he said he doesn’t think Muhammad is a terrorist driven by religious extremism. He said Muhammad is a Muslim who practices voodoo and has not attended a mosque in 25 years.
“Kori Muhammad is not a terrorist, but he is a racist, and he’s filled with hate,” Dyer said. “Fortunately, he was taken into custody … he’s not going to kill anyone else. “