Houston Strip Mall Shooting Leaves Several People Injured & The Suspect Dead — REPORT
Early this morning in Houston, Texas, a shooter injured several people before he was shot by police, the Houston Chronicle reported. The details of what exactly happened have evolved with time in local media reports. The first briefs pointed to the shooting having occurred at a shopping mall, but it now appears that the suspect was shooting cars as they passed by from his apartment building, which is near the shopping center. No motive has been put forward at this time.
The Houston Police Department confirmed that nine people were injured and six were brought to area hospitals; one remains in critical condition and another in serious. Three were treated and released on the scene. The Houston Fire Department also confirmed that the the shooter was killed; earlier in the morning, local officials only said the suspect had been "neutralized," without any elaboration as to his injuries. His identity has not been released. (Update: The Houston Chronicle later identified the shooter as Nathan Desai, a local lawyer.)
The Houston Acting Police Chief Martha Montalvo gave a press conference later Monday morning and said the shooting began around 6:30 a.m. local time. She said the shooter was a lawyer from the neighborhood, who had issues with his law firm, but gave no other identifying details. She reiterated that the investigation is still ongoing, but they could confirm there was no second shooter.
A suspicious vehicle, a black Porsche convertible believed to be the shooter's, is parked at a nearby condominium building, and the bomb squad has been brought to the scene to investigate. Montalvo said more weapons had been found inside. She also reiterated several times that the investigation is still active. She said police will check his car, home, and social media.
Residents in the area have been asked to stay in their homes until further notice — a tweet from Houston Police say the scene is still active yet contained. A triage center has been set up too, and EMS is treating victims at the scene.
The Chronicle interviewed one of the drivers whose car was struck as he moved through the area. Eduardo Andrade told the paper he was on the way to the gym when two bullets hit his car:
As I was driving by Law Street I suddenly heard a big explosion. ... I covered myself, accelerated and tried to get out of there. I did not know if someone was following me or trying to shoot me ... It's so random, think of it, if I was driving a little faster or a little slower, the bullet would have had a different trajectory.
Public officials have already begun to give statements on the matter. The governor of Texas, Gregg Abbott, sent his condolences via Twitter. "Please join me in keeping the victims of the shooting in Houston this morning in your thoughts and prayers," he wrote. The incident may have larger implications, as the nation continues to debate possible gun control measures.
Police have asked anyone with information to call the Houston Police Department.