A disgruntled attorney dressed in Nazi attire was killed by police Monday morning after he shot six people at strip malls in Houston. Three other people suffered injuries not related to the gunfire.
Nathan DeSai, 46, identified by Houston officials as the gunman, died after a shootout with police. He was wearing an old German military uniform adorned with Swastikas, KPRC-TV reports.
The gunfire broke out about 6:30 a.m. local time outside of Randall’s grocery store in the southwest area of the city. The attack then continued at the Weslayan Plaza strip mall.
Authorities do not believe there are any other suspects in the attack and a motive has not yet been determined. The shooting lasted for 20 minutes, according to Assistant Chief Richard Mann. Mann added that the injuries range from minor injuries to “more serious” wounds.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that the gunman “appeared to be a disgruntled lawyer who took out his anger and frustration on individuals.”
One victim remains in critical condition, while the other five who were shot are expected survive.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Found Nazi Paraphernalia During a Search of DeSai’s Apartment & Porsche
In addition to the German military uniform he was wearing, police found Nazi paraphernalia in Nathan DeSai’s car and at his apartment, KPRC-TV reports.
The Houston Police Department’s bomb squad was investigating DeSai’s black Porsche and his apartment, which is located not far from where the shooting occurred.
Interim Houston Police Chief Martha Montalvo said she was not ready to say that the shooting is not related to terrorism when asked by reporters, according to KPRC. But Mayor Sylvester Turner said there is no remaining credible threat to to the community and “there does not appear to be any connection to a terrorist act,” KHOU-TV reports.
DeSai had previous incidents involving police, according to KHOU.
Jason Delgado, the property manager of The Oaks apartment complex where DeSai lived, told the news station the incidents occurred in the past few weeks.
A neighbor of DeSai’s and wife of a victim, Jennifer Moredo, told KHOU about DeSai saying: “What personal problems he has going on in his life, who knows. I do know that there was a confrontation with a roofing company a few weeks ago that he had a problem with and I believe he was waving around his AR, but what set him off at 6:12 this morning, I don’t know.” In another incident, Delgado said DeSai sent threatening emails to a man in the complex’s office after maintenance issues in his apartment unit.
2. DeSai’s Former Legal Partner Disagrees With the Narrative That the Pair Were in a Dispute
The Houston PD said at a press conference just after the attack that the gunman was a disgruntled lawyer who had “issues concerning firm.” According to Yelp, DeSai was a lawyer with Kenneth McDaniel at McDaniel & DeSai LLP. DeSai specialized in family law and criminal cases, felonies and misdemeanors.
On his LinkedIn page, DeSai writes under his name, “Nathan DeSai no longer has any affiliation with Kenneth P. McDaniel.” He also writes, “McDaniel & DeSai LLP closed and unwound.” The landlord for the pair’s office told KHOU’s Drew Karedes that the firm had a decline in business and were forced to vacate.
ABC Houston spoke to DeSai’s father, Prakash DeSai, who said that his son was still seeing clients and working from home at the time of the shooting. DeSai ate dinner at his father’s house the night before the shooting. Prakash DeSai told Click 2 Houston that his son’s new venture wasn’t going well saying, “He was worried … because his law practice was not running good, so he (was) worried about this all the time.”
While Ken McDaniel told the station the firm closed six months ago. Meanwhile, McDaniel “pushed back” on the narrative that he and DeSai had bad blood, instead blaming the “weak economy,” for their law firm closing, according to the Houston Chronicle’s St. John B. Smith. Speaking to Click 2 Houston, McDaniel said that he hadn’t spoken to DeSai since February 2016. He added, “If he did do something like this, it’s out of character. It’s shocking and upsetting. I don’t think you would expect anybody to go do anything like this… if Nathan did do this…He was a damn good lawyer. I was proud to be his partner”
Avvo says that DeSai has been licensed to practice law in Texas for 17 years. DeSai says on LinkedIn that he got his law degree at the University of Tulsa. There, he was a member of the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity.
3. More Weapons Were Found Inside of Desai’s Black Porsche
According to the Houston Office of Emergency Management, the lockdown ended around four hours after the shots were first fired. Investigators were also examining DeSai’s black Porsche. Officials said that more weapons were found inside the car. ABC Houston reports that DeSai had a .45 semi-automatic handgun and a .45 Tommy Gun as well as 2,600 rounds of live ammo. He shot at officers during the September 26 shooting but didn’t hit any of them. Some cops were as close as 25 yards from DeSai when he was killed.
His father told Click 2 Houston that his son owned guns to protect himself against clients saying, “He deals with funny people and criminally-minded people and you don’t know if something goes wrong, if they’re going to be upset at you.”
The Houston Police Department says that a total of nine people were injured during the shooting. Three of those people were treated at the scene after suffering injuries related to glass. Of those who were wounded, one person is in fair condition, one in critical condition and the rest have been described as being in “good condition.” KHOU’s Melissa Correa reports that four hours after the shots were first fired, first responders could be seen “packing up and moving out.”
4. One Client Said on Yelp That Desai Tried to Date Her
On the firm’s Yelp page, one client, Rhi Marie P., gave the McDaniel and DeSai a one star review. She wrote that, “Nathan DeSai acted very unprofessional by asking me (a paying client) out for dinner and drinks.”
The only other review on the site gave Ken McDaniel a five star review.
5. One Witness Described ‘Bullets Flying’ Past Her Face
One witness, Antoine Wilson, told ABC Houston about her experience during the shooting saying, “I literally heard the gunshots past my face. It’s a hard pill to swallow.”
While another witness, Eduardo Andrade, 42, told the Houston Chronicle, “As I was driving by Law Street I suddenly hard a big explosion. I covered myself, accelerated and tried to get out of there. I did not know if someone was following me or trying to shoot me.” He also said, “It’s so random, think of it, if I was driving a little faster or a little slower, the bullet would have had a different trajectory.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive, this is the 19th mass shooting in Texas in 2016. A mass shooting is qualified as an attack where four or more people are wounded. The last came three days before the September 26 attack, four people were wounded along Apache street in Houston.
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