FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The suspect in this week’s racially motivated shooting rampage in Fresno, Calif., entered a courtroom early Friday shouting that natural disasters striking America will increase.
Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, then shouted twice during a minute-long hearing, “Let black people go” and a phrase similar to “in reparations” that was not clearly enunciated.
His court appointed lawyer, Eric Christensen, then told the judge: “I believe this gentleman may not be mentally competent to proceed.”
Muhammad yelled again. Fresno County Superior Court Judge W. Kent Hamlin canceled the proceedings, setting bail at $2.6 million and ordering a mental evaluation for Muhammad.
Muhammad is due to return for arraignment on May 12.
He was charged Thursday with killing unarmed security guard Carl Williams at a Motel 6 a week earlier. Authorities say Williams was the first of four killings by Muhammad. Police say 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. He fired 17 rounds in less than two minutes. Police, with help from acoustic sensors posted in the area, arrested him less than five minutes after the rampage began.
Muhammad said Williams had shown him disrespect while Muhammad was visiting a woman at the motel, according to police.
Prosecutors say Muhammad will face murder charges for all four men, but they’re waiting for investigators to assemble their case before filing the other three.