California man charged in Fresno shooting spree that killed three

Fresno County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Kori Muhammad

(Reuters) – A man who goes by the nickname Black Jesus was charged with three counts of murder on Wednesday in connection with a shooting spree targeting white men in downtown Fresno, California, local media reported.

Kori Ali Muhammad, who already had been charged with killing a Motel 6 security guard days before the rampage, could face the death penalty under special circumstances alleged in the three new counts of first-degree murder, the Fresno Bee newspaper reported.

An initial court appearance in the case last week was postponed and Muhammad was ordered to undergo a psychiatric examination after he entered the courtroom shouting “let black people go!” and “reparations!”

According to police and prosecutors, Muhammad was angry about being evicted from his room when he opened fire on Carl Williams and a second security guard in the parking lot of the Fresno-area Motel 6 on April 13. The second security guard was not hurt.

Prosecutors say several days later Muhammad opened fire 17 times as he walked and ran along several blocks in Fresno, killing three white men in less than four minutes. A fourth man was missed by the bullets.

Although Muhammad shouted “Allu Akhbar” as he was taken into custody following the shooting, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer has said the case did not appear to be an act of terrorism.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bill Trott)