Houston | A disgruntled lawyer, believed to be half-Indian, Monday fired indiscriminately and injured nine persons at a strip mall in southwest Houston before being shot dead by police in the latest incident of mass shooting in the US.
The shooter was identified as Nathan Desai, who previously worked at McDaniel & Desai LLP, though the practice closed down at some time last year, Ken McDaniel told the local media here.
Houston Police confirmed the mass shooter was dead after firing at passing cars and officers who responded to the call for help at a shopping centre. Earlier on Monday, they had tweeted that an “active shooter at Weslayan & Bissonnet has been shot by our officers; no reports of other suspects at this time.”
The attacker was shot by cops and was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital, police said.
Witnesses and emergency officials described a chaotic scene as the gunman fired dozens of shots at random, sending people ducking for cover.
One witness, said he heard “over 100 shots” fired – including AK-47 and AR-15 gunfire. It was “steady shooting back and forth” between police and the suspect, the man said.
Six victims were being treated in hospital, with two in a critical condition, and three were released, said interim Houston police Chief Martha Montalvo.
She said the suspect was a lawyer who lived in the neighbourhood and police are investigating whether “issues” at his law firm were behind the shooting.
The gunman was shot dead near his parked car, which contained additional weapons, on a residential street near the shopping centre as heavily-armed police officers descended on the area.
According to local media, who spoke with DeSai’s father, said the man had tried calling his son numerous times today but had only gotten the man’s voicemail.
DeSai’s father said his son was upset over the failure of his law firm and the business closed due to a lack of clients.
He confirmed his son owned multiple guns and said he had a license to carry.
He also said DeSai drove a black Porsche, the same type of car police were examining in the shopping centre parking lot.
That car’s license plate showed it was registered to DeSai.
The gunman was known to law enforcement, officials said, and several guns were found in the man’s car.
The US has witnesses a number of shooting incidents in recent months.
Today’s shooting came days after a shooting at a Washington state mall left five people dead. On September 17, a 20-year-old man stabbed 10 people at a Minnesota mall before being shot to death by an off-duty police officer.
The US suffered the worst mass shooting in its history in June when 50 people were killed and 53 injured in Orlando, Florida after a gunman stormed into a packed gay nightclub.
In December last year, 14 people were killed in a shooting incident in San Bernardino.