The shooter involved in shooting incidents in downtown Fresno has reportedly been nabbed. The 39-year old Kori Ali Muhammad who was behind three tragic deaths in the area has finally been arrested by police.
There are reports that the alleged shooter yelled Muslims’ oft repeated call for prayers, Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest) while he was being arrested. His family claims that of late he did not seem well.
There are conflicting reports about the intention of the man who talked about White and Black differences. Some reports initially mentioned it to be a terrorism related case, while others said there doesn’t seem to be any terrorism related motive in the shootings and subsequent killings. Later, it was called a hate crime and not terrorism.
The thirty nine year old was not always Kori Ali Muhammad. Reports suggested that the alleged killer of the three changed his name from Kori Taylor to Kori Ali Muhammad when he was between some 16 years of age.
His grandma was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying, “He was a different kind of boy; he was different from all my kids…I don’t know why he got on this Muhammad stuff … he tried to tell me about it…He maybe would call himself homeless because he didn’t have a place he’s paying for with his name on it, but he always stays with some relative…He always knew he could come here if he needed to.”
She said that the alleged killer came her home this past Sunday. He was not looking OK, she added. And merely hours after he left her house, he randomly shot at three white men in Fresco. Now there are confirmed reports that the shootings were preceded by another killing. Muhammad reportedly killed another white man, a security guard at a Motel 6 outside on Thursday.
Reports suggest that he belonged to a fringe Muslim sect, there are many such sects, not recognized by mainstream Muslim organizations. A report in the Daily Beast claims that he was “an adherent of a fringe religious movement called the Moorish Science Temple”.
The alleged killer has a criminal past. Federal court records suggest that Kori Muhammad, previously known as Kori or Cory Taylor, was arrested in 2005 on federal drug charges and pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm with a prior felony conviction. He received 110 months in prison, along with 92 months of supervised release, which ended early in September 2016.
In the meantime there are reasons to believe that his action might have more to do with racial hatred than terrorism. A Facebook profile page for a Kori Ali Muhammad talked about black pride and black nationalism, with images of the red, green and black Pan-African flag and images of a raised fist.
A Los Angeles report while quoting Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino says, “many of Muhammad’s social media postings reference terms used by the Nation of Islam, which has been labeled a racist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Pointing to Muhammad’s repeated references to “white devils” and “Yakub,” the villainous figure responsible for creating white people, according to Nation of Islam lore, Levin says it is likely Muhammad thought he was taking part in a race war”.