HOUSTON — A gunman who died in a shootout with officers in Houston Monday was a lawyer who lived in the neighborhood and left a car full of weapons near the scene, the city’s police chief said.
“We are bringing in the bomb squad to secure it safe,” Acting Police Chief Martha Montalvo told reporters.
Attorney Nathan DeSai has been identified as the alleged shooter, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told CNN.
DeSai was a lone gunman who was disgruntled over matters at the law firm where he worked, according to the mayor, who said he’d been briefed on the shooting by police. DeSai practiced business, criminal and family law, according to his profile on the State Bar of Texas website.
Police said nine people were injured in the shooting, one critically and one seriously.
The FBI is at the scene and assisting the investigation, Montalvo said.
Witness: Gunshots flew by my face
It was still dark when Antoine Wilson drove through the neighborhood Monday morning and suddenly found himself in the middle of a gunfight.
“I didn’t realize I was right there by the shooter,” he told CNN affiliate KTRK. “Gunshots, I literally hear the gunshots pass my face, ’cause I’m leaning out the window looking, trying to see.”
Then he saw police running down the street.
“You (could) hear people screaming,” he said. “I’m talking about steady gunshots, just steady shooting, back and forth … police and the shooter. Helicopters were everywhere.”
Firefighters and police swarmed the scene as gunfire rang out, KTRK reported.
“I’m still shaken up,” Wilson told KTRK. “I’ve never been in no standoff like this before.”
Later Monday, Kevin Quinn caught a glimpse of cars that apparently were caught in the crossfire. The KTRK reporter tweeted photos of vehicles parked near the scene with bullet-riddled windshields and shattered glass.
Parking lot became triage scene
Early reports indicated the shooting took place in a strip mall parking lot near the corner of Weslayan Street and Bissonnet Street in southwest Houston.
Montalvo later said it’s possible the shooting had occurred on a nearby street.
“As the victims left, the ones that could, possibly, came to this location,” she told reporters at a press briefing near the strip mall.
After the shooting, CNN affiliates reported that the parking lot became a triage scene where first responders treated the wounded.
An emergency alert from the city told people to avoid the area and warned residents to take shelter in place. Hours after the shooting, officials told residents the shelter-in-place warning had been lifted and asked the public for help tracking down information about what happened.