Murder suspect's cousin speaks about his life, struggles

"I can't even fathom, what was going through his mind"

FRESNO, Calif. - The last time Sharisse Kemp saw her cousin, Kori Mohammad, she says, they were celebrating her grandmother's birthday.

Now if convicted, Kemp may only see Muhammad behind bars.

"Sincere just, heartbreak just to learn that innocent individuals were killed, and then, there's this other layer of, seeing my cousin on the news, who, you know, who I love," Kemp said. "So there was anger, there was frustration, there was confusion, and, you know, like, where did this come from." 

Kemp grew up with Muhammad, six years her senior.

She says, he was protective of her, of his entire family.

Kemp says Muhammad did get into trouble, before serving time.

"There were some things he grew away from, and then, there were other things that I think, was more difficult for him to break away from," Kemp said.

And if he was involved in anything, Kemp says, the family never saw it.

"He didn't bring it around us," Kemp said. "Because he didn't, like I said, he has just always been very protective."

Federal court records show, Muhammad was committed in 2005 for 8 months, after he was arrested and charged with possessing crack cocaine and possessing a firearm as a felon.

Kemp says, she saw signs of mental instability before but says, it wasn't until after his approximately seven-year-incarceration, she saw a significant change.

"Once he came out of prison, some of those things did see more pronounced," Kemp said. "You know, at times, he did see a little withdrawn."

Kemp says, she thought he was getting his life together.

Now she says, she'll always wonder.

"I still can't, I just can't fathom what he was feeling, or what made him do it, or," Kemp said. "I can't even fathom, what was going through his mind." 

Reporting in Fresno, Megan Rupe. 

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