Juan A. Lozano
HOUSTON: A disgruntled lawyer wearing military-style apparel with old Nazi emblems had two weapons and more than 2,500 rounds of live ammunition when he randomly shot at drivers in a Houston neighborhood Monday before he was shot and killed by police, authorities said.
Nine people were injured during Monday morning’s shootings on the street in front of a condo complex; six were shot and three had eye injuries from flying glass. One person was in critical condition and another in serious condition, officials said.
Houston Homicide Capt. Dwayne 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, where Ready said vintage military items dating to the Civil War and other guns were found in the man’s apartment.
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 semi-automatic rifle commonly known as a Tommy gun — and an unsheathed knife, Ready said. He also noted that there were 75 spent casings at the scene, which were from officers and the gunman.
Ready said nine officers — five with the Houston Police Department and four with two other local agencies — “engaged the suspect who was shooting randomly at passers-by as well as anybody he could put his sights on.”
During the shootout, one driver was shot and one of the officers “left cover to take that citizen to safety while the other officers engaged the subject,” he said.
Mayor Sylvester Turner told KTRK-TV in Houston 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 law 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.
DeSai’s father, Prakash DeSai, told 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.”
Perrye Turner, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Houston Division, said officials don’t believe the incident is tied to terrorism.