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Police Chief: Fresno killings are a hate crime

FRESNO, Calif. — Police said a man fatally shot three people Tuesday in Fresno, California, in less than two minutes in what authorities are calling a hate crime.

Suspect Kori Ali Muhammad killed three white men on April 18, 2017 in Fresno, California. Muhammad has posted on social media a dislike for white people and government officials, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

The three victims were white, and apparently chosen at random, police said. The suspect, Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, is black, police said.

Muhammad had posted on social media a dislike for white people and government officials, Fresno, California, police Chief Jerry Dyer said. He also yelled “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) when he was arrested Tuesday, officials said.

“We do not believe this is a terrorist-related crime, Dyer told reporters. “This is solely based on race.”

The gunman shot a PG&E truck passenger and two other men in downtown Fresno, Dyer said.

Muhammad, 39, will face four counts of murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, officials said. The fourth murder count is from a previous incident.

Muhammad also is accused of firing at a 59-year-old white man coming out of a house, but he missed and then pointed a gun at three Hispanic women in a car, Dyer said.

The shootings occurred within a block-and-a-half of each other, Dyer said.

“We had three people that were shot and killed and one person shot at in less than a two-minute time frame in the city of Fresno,” the police chief said.

Dyer said the slain men are believed to have had no connection to Muhammad.

Two of those shot at were near Catholic Charities and were clients of the social services agency, Dyer said.

Muhammad surrendered to police, telling an officer: “I did it. I shot them,” the police chief said.

He was being sought in the April 13 slaying of Carl Williams, 25, an unarmed security guard shot outside a Fresno Motel 6.