Fresno diocese responds to April 18 shooting spree

"An incomprehensible depth of hatred carried in the heart of one man"

Kori Ali Muhammad

The following is a response from Diocese of Fresno to the shootings that occurred on April 18:

  • In less than three minutes, three lives were taken for no apparent reason beyond an incomprehensible depth of hatred carried in the heart of one man. Scripture states: “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” (1 John 2:9-11)
  • Once again, our community is touched by darkness. Family, friends, neighbors and the vast multitude of good and caring people in our community must now decide, once again, how we will respond to this senseless tragedy. We must reflect on what we have experienced and how we feel about it. Anger and outrage are certainly a natural reaction; yet, these feelings must also be experienced as an invitation to prayerful reflection so that our raw feelings do not take hold and lead us into the very darkness we abhor.
  • Let us seize this moment as an opportunity to live as people of light not darkness by rejecting the temptation to hate the hater and embracing the gift of grace that opens hearts to choose love which conquers all evil.
  • With loving concern we pray for the deceased, their families and all who have been deeply affected by this tragic loss of life, that they may find strength, consolation and healing, as we find our place with them on the pathway to peace.
  • We also pray for the conversion of souls that intentionally inflict acts of violence on innocent victims. May their minds and hearts be enlightened and opened to God’s love, mercy and forgiveness; and may we be prepared to walk with them when they seek reconciliation within our community.
  • — Teresa Dominguez, Chancellor on behalf of Bishop Armando Ochoa

From Fresno diocese website.

Background on the shooting:

Three men were killed Tuesday morning in a Fresno shooting rampage that police say was carried out by a man they had identified only hours earlier as the suspect in the fatal shooting of an unarmed motel security guard last week.

The 39-year-old suspect, identified as Kori Ali Muhammad, opened fire on four men, hitting three and missing the fourth, before he was taken into custody, police Chief Jerry Dyer said. Muhammad, who is facing four counts of murder for Tuesday’s shootings and the shooting last Thursday at Motel 6 and also two counts of attempted murder, shouted “Ali Akbar” after he spotted approaching officers and dove to the ground on Fulton Street, Dyer said.

Dyer said that it’s too soon to determine if the shooting rampage was terrorism-related. However, a review of Muhammad’s social media shows he quoted the phrase “Allahu Akbar” in a tweet. The Arabic phrase translates to “God is the greatest.”

In addition, Muhammad’s Facebook posts indicated that “he does not like white people, and he has anti-government sentiments,” the chief said. The four men who were targeted Tuesday were white, Dyer said.

Full story at The Fresno Bee.


  1. Joan of El Cajon says

    San Diego ordinary Robert McElroy teamed up with local imam Taha Hassane last night at Our Lady of Guadalupe for the “Faith Not Fear” summit, hosted by the Alinskyian San Diego Organizing Project, a proud member of PICO. As Bishop McElroy was heading into the church, I yelled at him, “What do you say about the shooting that took place yesterday, by some guy yelling ‘allahu akbar’ and who shot to death three people, including one in the parking lot of Catholic Charities Fresno?” Regretfully but unsurprisingly, McElroy totally ignored me. He’s a lib Dem politician in mitre disguise.

  2. Joel Fago says

    Another act of Islamic terrorism.

    • Joel, know your statistics before you make racist remarks on a Catholic site. The number of murders by Islamic believers in the U.S. is less than one half of one percent. Murders by Christians is much highers. Murders by white people against blacks is much higher than blacks against whites, etc, etc. As a nation, we must deal with truth, not the lies of folks running for office or the alt-right press.

      • Steve Seitz says

        Bob One,
        Are you equating Christians who commit acts of murder with acts of terrorism (e.g. murder to inflict destabilizing terror).

        Please cite some examples.

      • BOB One, A black is 27 times more likely to attack a white and 8 times more likely to attack a Hispanic than the other way around. A Hispanic is eight times more likely to attack a white than vice versa. (Statistics from the DOJ, released in 2013, during the time of the Obama administration). Also, surprisingly, the US is approximately #100 down on a list of about 190 countries, in murders per capita, and this list shows Red China as ‘better” than the US, of course, because that government’s crimes against its own citizens is not taken into account. So Bob One, NO, you do not know your statistics.
        Since Muslims constitute only 1% of the population, this means their attacks against the US are of great concern.
        And of course, Bob One…

        • Joe, there are all kinds of statistics out there that can be cited. Many of the biggest mass shootings in the U.S. have been the work of non-Islamic citizens. The point is, I believe, that you can’t lump an entire ethnic or religious group together and blame them for the acts of a few people. Of all the Muslims in the U.S., few cause any problems, just as that is true of Protestants, Christians and Jews, and many other religions. It might be helpful if we all use gross generalizations.

          • The problem with being a pro-Muislim terrorist supporter is the continued persecution of Christians worldwide, by Muslims. Christians, the victims of genocide in the Middle East, are now almost eradicated there. Christian persecution in Africa and Asia has increased, and now the persecution of Christians in Europe and the US, has started. Your belief that Islamic persecution of Christians, is just unfounded American bias and racial prejudice, and that Islam is innocent, is fraudulent, dangerous, and totally incorrect.

          • Bohemond says

            As a liberal Bob One I can understand that you by default do not recognize truth or facts. Islam has been attacking Christians since its founding 1400 years ago. This latest attack is just part of their despicable legacy. In their false religion it is a mandate from their false prophet to conquer non-believers and they mean it. Islam has left nothing but a legacy of hate and strife, think I am being harsh, try being a Christian in Pakistan and see how long you last. Turkish Muslims have continued to deny the genocide of 1.5MM Armenian Christians, yeah sure there are peaceful Muslims but that is because they are not following their faith as commanded by their false prophet. Try opening your mind to facts for once..

  3. Actually, the Chief of Police in Fresno reported that this was not an act of Islamic terrorism. He indicated it was an act of Racism! Get your facts straight so you won’t put your foot in your mouth!

  4. May the souls of those who died, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. May God comfort the families.

    One thing it tells us all of whatever color is that we never know when our time will come, so we had better be in good standing before our Maker. Catholics go to confession to a faithful priest and stay out of mortal sin especially. The killer did not know what he was. He was into voodoo and everything else.

  5. A man named Mohammed tweets out Allah Akbar and kills three men. From what I can tell, at least one of the slain was at or near an organization/building identified as Catholic.
    And, this not enough to label as a terrorist act?

    “The FBI terrorist definition is “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
    Although a bit of a broad definition, it certainly meets our countries top law enforcement definition.

    The fact that it’s a black man killing white people is an easy way for the local authorities to maintain their PC head in the sand position.

    My contempt is reserved…

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