Houston Shooter Was 'Disgruntled' Lawyer With 'Issues' at Work

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on September 27, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Nine people were wounded in a mass shooting outside a Houston mall yesterday morning. The gunman wore a military uniform decorated with Nazi symbols as he opened fire on passing cars, according to witnesses, until he was killed in a shootout with police.

Houston's mayor, Sylvester Turner, identified the shooter as Nathan DeSai, 46, a "disgruntled" attorney. "He was either fired or had a bad relationship with [his] law firm," Turner said.

Mass Shooting in Houston

The shooting began around 6:30 a.m., according to authorities, and lasted about 20 minutes. Armed with a handgun and a submachine gun, and with 2,600 rounds of ammunition stockpiled in his Porsche, DeSai opened fire outside his condominium on Law Street, near the affluent neighborhood of West University Place.

In addition to the Nazi regalia DeSai wore during the shooting, police found Nazi and Civil War paraphernalia in DeSai's home, according to CNN.

From Lawyer to Armed Gunman

DeSai graduated from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1998 and joined the Texas Bar in 1999. According to Yelp, he worked at McDaniel & DeSai LLP, practicing family and criminal law, though his LinkedIn page says he has no connection to his former partner and that his practice has been "closed and unwound," the website Heavy reports.

In addition to the Nazi and Civil War memorabilia, police found numerous weapons in DeSai's apartment.

DeSai's father, Prakash DeSai, said the attorney kept guns in order to protect himself against clients. "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," DeSai's father said.

DeSai's former partner, Ken McDaniel, told a Houston Chronicle reporter that the pair had closed their firm six months ago, citing a weak economy as the reason for shuttering the firm.

"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," McDaniel said. "I was proud to be his partner."

After the dissolution of the firm, DeSai began working with clients out of his home, according to his father. "He was worried ... because his law practice was not running good, so he (was) worried about this all the time."

Police have not identified a motive for the shooting.

In total, nine people were injured, with six shot, before police killed DeSai in a shootout. One victim remains in critical condition.

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