Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer announced late Tuesday the department is investigating three fatal shootings that took place earlier in the day as a hate crime.

"We believe this is solely based on race," Dyer told reporters.

Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, was taken into custody after he allegedly opened fire on four random white people around 10:45 a.m. local time.

A shooting spree followed. First the trigger was pulled on on a person in a PG&E utility truck, then three others, including a person walking down Fulton Street, and another in the parking lot of Catholic Charities. Police said the suspect fired 16 shots in 60 seconds.

An officer nearby spotted the gunman and police apprehended him. The incident had been investigated as a potential terrorist attack because the suspect yelled "Allahu Akbar" as police officers took him down following the shooting. Officers found .357 ammunition on Muhammad, but no weapon.

However, the ammunition was the same type that was used in a fatal shooting at a Motel 6 last week, Dyer said.

Muhammad went by the nickname "Black Jesus," Dyer said at a news conference. He had written on Facebook about his disdain for white people.

Muhammad will face four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.