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Police still looking for handgun used in deadly Fresno shootings

Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, was arrested shortly after a shooting outside a Catholic Charities building in Fresno.
(Fresno Police Department)

A handgun used to fatally shoot three men last week in downtown Fresno is still missing, authorities said.

Fresno Police Lt. Mark Hudson said detectives are still searching for a man who they believe took the .357 magnum revolver left behind by accused Fresno shooter Kori Ali Muhammad after the April 18 attack.

According to authorities, Muhammad had just ran out of ammunition when he encountered the man after the shooting. Muhammad and the man, who was carrying a box of food, had a brief conversation, police said.

Surveillance cameras showed the man setting down the box and retrieving Muhammad’s gun, police said. The man then ran out of the neighborhood, jumped a fence, emptied the handgun in a backyard and took off running again, authorities said.

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Hudson said detectives have not been able to locate the revolver since the deadly four-minute rampage. A $2,000 reward has been offered for information.

Muhammad, 39, has not yet been charged in the deaths of three men, who authorities said were gunned down because they were white. On Tuesday, the Fresno County district attorney’s office said the Fresno Police Department had not submitted its case to prosecutors.

Muhammad was charged last week in the death of Carl Williams, a 25-year-old security guard who was killed in a separate shooting April 13 at a motel. Muhammad told police he shot Williams because “he felt Carl Williams had disrespected him,” according to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

At a hearing Friday, a doctor was appointed to evaluate Muhammad’s mental competency.

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Dyer said Muhammad, a black man who spoke of an ongoing race war, told investigators he didn’t want to go down for killing the security guard — he wanted to “kill as many white males as possible.”

Five days after Williams was gunned down, police said, Muhammad walked up to a PG&E truck and fired shots into it, striking Zackary David Randalls, a 34-year-old Clovis resident.

After shooting Randalls, police said, Muhammad fired at a 59-year-old man who had just walked out of a home, but missed. Muhammad then fired on a vehicle but stopped once he saw that the occupants were two Latina women, the chief said.

Muhammad continued walking and fatally shot Mark James Gassett, 37, of Fresno, Dyer said.

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Next, Muhammad fired at David Martin Jackson as he sat with two other men at a bus stop, according to the police chief. As Jackson, a 58-year-old Fresno resident, ran away, Muhammad chased him and fired two more shots at him, Dyer said. Jackson collapsed and died in the parking lot of Catholic Charities, according to the police chief.

A total of 17 shots were fired before Muhammad was taken into custody, Dyer said.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA

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