Six people were hit by bullets and three more injured by glass and debris when a lawyer shot at random drivers in a Houston neighborhood Monday morning.
The shooter, identified as Nathan DeSai, was described by Mayor Sylvester Turner as a "disgruntled" attorney who had "either [been] fired or had a bad relationship" with his law firm. He was shot and killed by police after shooting at responding officers, authorities said.
One of the victims was hospitalized in critical condition, and another hospitalized in serious condition.
This incident marks the 288th mass shooting in the United States this year, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which, following the FBI, defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot at one location, excluding the shooter. This is the fifth mass shooting to occur in Houston alone. Last year saw 332 such shootings, compared with 277 the previous year.
The first reports of the incident came in around 6:30 a.m. Monday morning. One witness, Antoine Wilson, said in an interview with local station KTRK-TV that it was still dark when, while driving through the neighborhood, he heard gunshots around him.
"I literally hear the gunshots pass my face, 'cause I'm leaning out the window looking, trying to see," he recalled. "You [could] hear people screaming. I'm talking about steady gunshots, just steady shooting, back and forth ... police and the shooter. Helicopters were everywhere."
Mayor Turner told KTRK that the investigation is "active. It's very, very early.... We are checking every angle, I can assure you."
Acting Police Chief Martha Montalvo said that Mr. DeSai had left his Porsche full of weapons at the scene, and that a bomb squad would be employed to secure the area. Next, police said, they planned to search DeSai's apartment. They do not plan to investigate any other suspects.
DeSai had caught the attention of some in his condo complex in recent weeks for two incidents, property manager Jason Delgado told KHOU-TV. The attorney brandished a military-style weapon at roofers in the complex, prompting a 911 call but no arrest, and sent threatening emails to a man in the complex's office because of maintenance issues in his condo.
This report contains material from Reuters and the Associated Press.