6 in Houston shot before gunman killed
Drivers targeted; attacker wore Nazi emblems, had 2,500 rounds, police say
HOUSTON — A disgruntled lawyer had two guns and more than 2,500 rounds of live ammunition when he randomly shot at drivers in a Houston neighborhood Monday morning, hitting six people, before he was shot and killed by police, authorities said. Another three people had injuries from glass or debris.
The gunman was wearing military-style apparel with old Nazi emblems during Monday morning’s shootings, Houston Homicide Capt. Dwayne Ready said at a news conference. Vintage military items dating to the Civil War and other guns were found in the man’s apartment.
Ready and interim police Chief Martha Montalvo did not identify the man and did not have information about a motive. A bomb-squad robot examined a Porsche that police said belonged to the gunman; Texas motor vehicle records in a commercially available database showed the car is licensed to Nathan DeSai at an address in the condo complex. The property manager of the condo complex also confirmed that police were going through DeSai’s residence.
Nine people were injured; one person is in critical condition and another in serious condition, officials said.
Authorities first received reports of the shootings about 6:30 a.m., and the man began firing at officers when they arrived. The man had two legally purchased guns — a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a Thompson submachine gun — and an unsheathed knife, Ready said. He also noted that there were 75 spent casings at the scene, which Police investigate the scene in Houston where they say a gunman fired at cars before officers killed him Monday. were from officers and the gunman.
Mayor Sylvester Turner told KTRK-TV that DeSai was a lawyer who was “disgruntled” and was “either fired or had a bad relationship with this law firm.” But DeSai’s former l aw partner, Kenneth McDaniel, disputed that assertion, saying they jointly closed their 12-year-old law firm in February due to economic conditions related to Houston’s energy industry downturn.
McDaniel also said that he’d had no contact with DeSai lately and that police called him Monday morning to check on his safety, though they didn’t explain why.
Calls placed to phone numbers connected to DeSai and his father were not immediately answered. DeSai’s father, Prakash DeSai, told Houston television station KTRK that his son lived in the condo complex and drives a black Porsche. He also said his son, whom he saw Sunday, was upset because “his law practice is not going well” and stays upset “because of his personal problems.”
The entrance to the condo complex, which is in southwest Houston near the affluent enclave of West University Place, was blocked off with police tape late Monday morning.
Jason Delgado, the property manager of The Oaks at West University condo complex, said DeSai was involved in two recent incidents at the complex.
In August, Delgado said, police were called after roofers working in the complex said DeSai pointed an assault-style rifle at them. He said there wasn’t enough evidence to move forward with charges because the man contended he didn’t point the gun at roofers.
And last week, DeSai became upset because of water pressure problems at his home, asked for maintenance help and expressed his displeasure in an email to the management firm that implied he’d “intimidate his way to getting what he was asking for,” Delgado said.
Antwon Wilson, 30, inadvertently drove into the shooting scene after dropping off his girlfriend at work and said he could “literally hear the gunfire flying.”
Lee Williams left his home in the neighborhood upon hearing gunshots and began directing traffic away from the condo complex, noting that people usually cut through the area to avoid busier intersections. One car ignored him, he said, and was immediately shot at.
“Whatever cars were going by, he was shooting at them,” the 55-year-old said, noting he heard at least 50 gunshots over 40 or so minutes. As he was being interviewed, neighbors came by and patted him on the back, thanking him for keeping people safe.