Fresno shooting suspect shouts during first court hearing

Posted at 11:27 AM, Apr 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-21 14:27:21-04

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- The suspect in this week's racially motivated shooting rampage in Fresno entered a cramped courtroom early Friday shouting that natural disasters striking America will increase.

Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, then shouted twice during a brief hearing: "Let black people go" and a phrase similar to "in reparations" that was not clearly enunciated.

He was charged Thursday with killing unarmed security guard Carl Williams at a Motel 6 a week earlier.

Authorities have said Williams' killing was the first of four by Muhammad. 

Police have said he told them that learning he was wanted for the Williams' killing spurred him to try to kill as many white people as possible before he was caught.

He shot three other white men at random Tuesday, police said, including a Pacific Gas & Electric worker sitting in a truck and two men who had come out of a Catholic Charities building.

Muhammad fired 17 rounds in less than two minutes, police said. Officers with help from acoustic sensors posted in the area arrested him less than five minutes after the rampage began.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge W. Kent Hamlin assigned a doctor to examine Muhammad's mental state. The judge set bail at $2.6 million.

Muhammad said Williams showed him disrespect while Muhammad was visiting a woman at the motel, according to police.

Prosecutors said they are waiting for investigators to finish compiling their case before filing charges related the other three victims.

Muhammad's court-appointed attorney, Eric Christensen, declined a request by The Associated Press to comment.