According to The Fresno Bee, the accused, Kori Ali Muhammad, told detectives he went on the killing spree after being named as a person of interest in the fatal shooting of the first victim. He said since he was going to be arrested eventually, he had nothing to lose.
If found guilty of the murders, Muhammad could receive a death sentence. His lawyers, however, argue that he has a mental disorder and is schizophrenic despite Muhammad claiming he killed them out of anger over racial discrimination in the United States.
Muhammad fatally shot the first victim, 25-year-old security guard, Carl Williams III, at a motel in Fresno on April 13 during an altercation. He told detectives he shot Williams because he felt he disrespected him after he reported him to the motel manager when he went there to visit a friend.
He alleged the manager requested him to pay a visitor’s fee and register in his office. After Muhammad and the friend he was visiting registered their displeasure, the former eventually agreed to register. The manager, however, testified he kicked the two out of the motel after he felt threatened.
In the aftermath of the confrontation, surveillance footage showed Muhammad coming from behind Williams and shooting him, according to The Fresno Bee.
“It starts taking its toll on you and you get fed up with the racism. You get tired of letting things slide,” Muhammad told detectives.
He went on the run after the shooting and planned to either abscond to Los Angeles or San Diego. He told detectives it was while he was on the road that he realized he was a wanted man when he checked the news online.
Knowing he was going to be rounded up by authorities soon, he told detectives if he was “going down for murder”, he would go ahead and “kill as many white men” as he could, The Fresno Bee further reports.
He went on a killing spree and shot three more people a week later, including a man sitting in a Pacific Gas & Electric truck.
Muhammad, who told detectives his father was a former employee of the company but lost his job due to crack cocaine addiction, alleged the United States government was to blame for the spread of the epidemic.
His trial is still underway.