Criminal Justice

Houston gunman was a good lawyer, former law partner says

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The Houston lawyer identified as the gunman who shot and wounded nine people on Monday had practiced law for 12 years with Kenneth McDaniel, who says the dissolution of their partnership was “a matter of economics.”

Alleged gunman Nathan DeSai was a “good, competent lawyer” in good standing with the state bar, McDaniel told (sub. req.). McDaniel told Houston Public Media that DeSai “was always at work every day” and “he did his work.”

“I’m at a loss for words for what has happened. It’s horrible,” he said.

Police shot and killed DeSai after he began firing at cars from a Houston strip mall. Six people injured in the shooting went to the hospital and three others were treated at the scene. Three have since been discharged from the hospital, the Houston Chronicle reports. One remains hospitalized in serious condition and two others are in good condition.

DeSai, 46, was wearing a vintage military uniform and had Nazi emblems on him, according to the Chronicle story and the Washington Post. Police found 2,600 rounds of ammunition and a Thompson submachine gun inside DeSai’s Porsche, which was parked at the scene. Police also found “vintage military stuff” dating back to the Civil War in DeSai’s condo, said Houston Police Capt. Dwayne Ready.

McDaniel told the Houston Chronicle that the law firm had closed because business fell during the recession.

“I’m reading stuff online talking about how he was possibly a fired employee that was disgruntled,” McDaniel told the Chronicle. “That’s the farthest thing from the truth. Our partnership dissolved in February of this year; it was simply a matter of economics. We couldn’t afford to operate as a partnership anymore.”

DeSai’s father, retired geologist Prakash DeSai, told the Houston Chronicle that Nathan DeSai had been troubled because he was having trouble attracting clients to his solo practice.

The property manager at the complex on Law Street where DeSai lived told ABC 13 that DeSai had been behaving erratically in recent months, and had pulled a gun on a roofing crew he mistook for burglars.

DeSai obtained his law degree from the University of Tulsa in 1998. He practiced business, criminal and family law according to the State Bar of Texas website.

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