On Monday morning in Houston, an active shooter situation ended with nine people injured and one—the suspect—dead. The situation is still developing, and as often happens with these kinds of stories, there’ll likely be more speculation and misinformation than actual facts in the immediate aftermath of event. Here’s everything we know right now:
Where and when did the shooting happen?
This happened inside the inner loop, near West University Place, at the intersection of Weslayan and Bissonnet at 6:30 in the morning. A shelter-in-place warning was issued for the blocks between Bissonnet, Academy Street, Drake Street, and Auden Street, and remained in place until at least ten in the morning. The suspect’s car was found near his condo, and police were searching both the car and the residence as of Monday morning.
What exactly happened?
A shots-fired call was made just before 6:30 in the morning on Monday, and firefighters who arrived at the scene found a victim on Weslayan, and determined that the shooter was still firing at passing cars. ABC 13 reports that three people were treated on site for injuries from broken glass. Six others were taken to area hospitals, one reportedly in critical condition.
Police arrived, and reports—which have yet to be confirmed—indicate that the suspect may have been hiding behind a tree when they encountered him. A man interviewed by KTRK described driving into the scene as a “standoff,” saying he heard “steady gunshots, just steady shooting, back and forth” between police and the shooter. “Helicopters were everywhere,” he told the station. The suspect was killed in the exchange.
Who was the shooter?
Nathan DeSai was identified as the alleged shooter, according to CNN. We know where he lived—at the Oaks at West University, a few blocks from where the first victim was found—and Houston PD has described him as “a lawyer” with “issues concerning his law firm.” That firm, McDaniel & DeSai was shuttered earlier this year. The car that police searched was a Porsche Boxster, which was full of additional weapons. It’s unclear if those weapons were explosives, additional firearms, or both.
Do we know anything about the shooter’s motivation?
Not a thing as of yet. Even the “issues concerning his law firm” part of the equation isn’t really informative—it’s easy to construct a narrative around that, certainly, but since we know so little, a detail like that can be misleading this early on. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner described DeSai as “a disgruntled lawyer who took out his anger and frustration on individuals,” and that may turn out to be the case—but it seems premature to ascribe that motivation after just a few hours.
We don’t know if this was connected to terrorism of any kind, or the suspect’s politics at all; we don’t know the suspect’s medical history or anything about his mental health; we don’t know if there were other victims prior to the seemingly random drivers he shot at on the street. All of that information will probably begin to come in the next few hours, and certainly in the next few days.