Father of Fresno shooting spree suspect talks about son

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Three days after a murder at Motel 6, Kori Muhammad's appearance was the only thing that gave him away when he visited his father and grandmother Sunday.

"He was just nice and calm and cool but I knew he had done something because he had cut his hair," said Vincent Taylor, Muhammad's father.

Taylor talked to us from behind a screen door, but he gave us a look inside his home to help us understand his son a little better.

Muhammad practiced polytheism as an adult and frequented the Brass Unicorn in the Tower District where he bought a lot of the religious figures, or orishas, we saw in his bedroom and a shrine he built outside.

Muhammad grew up as Cory Taylor-- his father said he was not necessarily book smart, but he was a very intelligent kid.

"Kori was doing very, very, well, but then this thing called crack cocaine came about which you guys know about. And the black people think that the white people put the crack cocaine out on the streets."

Muhammad converted to the Nation of Islam and took the name Kori Muhammad as a teenager. He developed a hatred for white people-- which his dad tried to talk him out of-- and he got involved in drugs.

In 2004, when Muhammad was 26, Fresno Police arrested him with a large amount of crack as well as a semi-automatic handgun and two rifles. His dad says that arrest may have saved a lot of lives.

"When Kori went to prison, when he got caught with those guns and that crack cocaine, Kori left Washington to come to Fresno to shoot up a church, of white people," said Taylor.

Taylor said he warned a probation officer about his son's hatred and his plan to kill white people years ago but he says he doesn't think anyone ever followed up.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.