SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As Fresno mourns the deaths of four people killed in the last week, more details are coming out from family members of the suspect in the shootings.
“When I first see it, it hurts,” said Sharisse Kemp, Kori Mohammad’s cousin, “because not only am I seeing my cousin, but I’m also seeing him accused of taking another person’s life.”
Kemp says things don’t add up. She says the Kori Mohammed she knew growing up was into music and liked learning new things. He graduated from Grant High School in Sacramento and took some classes at Cosumnes River College.
“Always smiling and being like I said, just silly,” said Kemp.
But now, he is behind bars – accused of carrying out a deadly shooting spree in Fresno.
“He’s filled with hate and he set out this past week to kill as many people as he possibly could,” said Chief Jerry Dyer of the Fresno Police Department.
“He had a heart of gold,” said Rosie Wagner, the mother of one of the victims.
She was in tears while visiting a makeshift memorial on Wednesday.
“He was a good-hearted person,” said Wagner about her son Mark Gassett, “very caring, very loving.”
The FBI is now investigating the shootings as a hate crime. Gassett and two other victims are white men.
Police say Muhammad posted on social media a dislike for white people and wrote often about the conflict between whites and blacks.
Kemp says she recalled similar conversations with her cousin about difficulties he had experienced.
“A lot of pain and frustration with prejudice and being racially profiled,” said Kemp.
She says she never thought her cousin would act on his expressions and use violence.
“We are all just really heartbroken by this tragedy and the fact that people have lost their lives,” said Kemp expressing sadness for the victims and their families.
Now she worries a cycle of hate will continue. Kemp says her grandmother has been harassed. An uncle called racial slurs and threatened.
“We’re targeted in something that we didn’t take any part in,” said Kemp.