Houston Cops Puzzled by Lawyer’s Rampage

     HOUSTON (CN) — Houston police are still gathering evidence to determine why a local attorney shot at motorists Monday morning, injuring nine people before police killed him.
     The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences confirmed the shooter was Nathan DeSai, with an autopsy that found six bullet wounds on his body that came from police rifles, Houston Police Capt. Dwayne Ready said.
     DeSai, 46, immigrated to the United States from India and changed his first name from Niren to Nathan when he became a U.S. citizen in 1989, the Associated Press reported.
     He had a law degree from the University of Tulsa and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Houston.
     Numerous media outlets and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner initially described DeSai as a “disgruntled” lawyer who may have been set off by issues with his employer.
     But DeSai had a 12-year law partnership that went out of business in February, his former partner Kenneth McDaniel told Houston’s NPR affiliate.
     “I guess the best way to put it is just the business was slower than it’s been. And we felt that we could probably be each be better off going on our own and assuming our own private practices rather than a partnership situation,” McDaniel told NPR.
     Though McDaniel said the two former partners had not spoken since February, he described DeSai as a “good attorney” and said he was shocked to learn DeSai was the shooter.
     DeSai’s father, Prakash DeSai, reportedly said his son was stressed about not having enough clients to sustain his law practice.
     Harris County court records show DeSai doesn’t have any pending criminal or civil cases in Houston and he had not been retained for any cases in the county this year.
     He represented plaintiffs in three Harris County civil cases in 2015, three in 2014 and one in 2013, court records show.
     He was retained as a defense attorney in Harris County for two criminal cases in 2015, and six criminal cases in 2013.
     The property manager of the Houston condo complex where DeSai lived told local media that DeSai had threatened a roofing crew there with a gun in August, and had recently complained to management about the water pressure in his unit.
     Armed with a .45 caliber pistol, DeSai hid behind a tree and randomly shot at motorists leaving their southwest Houston neighborhood at around 6:30 a.m. Monday, police said.
     Capt. Ready said DeSai was wearing a “vintage” military uniform that had Nazi emblems affixed to it when he died.
     Police said DeSai also had a Thompson submachine gun, better known as a Tommy Gun, the preferred weapon of Chicago gangsters during prohibition in the 1920s. They found 2,600 bullets in DeSai’s Porsche parked near the scene.
     Police found three more guns in DeSai’s house, along with body armor and a gas mask, Ready said.
     Interim Houston Police Chief Martha Montalvo said at a press conference earlier this week that police don’t yet know why DeSai snapped.
     “At this point we are very open-minded in terms of motive,” she said.

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