Are malls targets for frequent mass murder crimes throughout the US?
On the morning of Sept. 26, a man was killed in Houston after wounding nine people in a mass shooting. Police responded and shot and killed the suspect. The suspect identified as a local attorney named Nathan DeSai, died on the scene.
DeSai was heavily armed, carrying two weapons and more than 2,500 rounds of live ammunition. Police found this in his Porsche parked nearby. The shooter randomly sprayed bullets at drivers in a southwest Houston neighborhood. The FBI mentioned that there was no immediate indication of any involvement with terrorist groups.
DeSai also opened fire at passing cars in a strip mall parking lot and then in an apartment complex located behind the strip center. Police concentrated on an apartment complex nearby Law street.
DeSai is reported to have been wearing military style apparel although he never served in the armed forces. Police have recovered cell phone footage from citizens that lived in surrounding apartments. Six people were sent to hospitals and three were treated at the scene after being shot at while inside their vehicles, in the affluent neighborhood of West University Place, as Houston Police Chief Martha Montalvo told reporters. The police have not yet confirmed a motive.
According to the head of the Police Homicide Division, police state that they had found Nazi emblems among his “personal effects” at the time of the shooting. Nazi emblems were also found at the shooter’s residence. War items were uncovered at his nearby apartment complex dating back to the civil war.
Jennifer Molleda, who lives in the same condo complex as the shooter, says that a few weeks ago there was an incident, when DeSai brandished an assault-style weapon at roofers in the complex.
DeSai, 46, had a small general law practice in northwest Houston. The two-man firm, McDaniel & DeSai, LLP, dissolved months ago, stated his former law partner. DeSai graduated from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1998, according to his Texas State Bar listing, which shows no record of disciplinary history and states he was eligible to practice. Some sources state the DeSai was a lawyer that had issues. Some speculate that he was pushed to the edge when his law practice dissolved. Despite these claims, McDaniel who partnered with the shooter said that he was not “a fired employee that was disgruntled.” Their law firm dissolved in February of this year because of economic issues. The two lawyers could not afford to operate as a partnership.
This shooting comes days after multiple past public shootings, especially in malls. A shooting at a Washington state mall left five people dead while the suspect had an unknown motive. On Sept. 17, a 20-year-old man stabbed ten people at a Minnesota mall before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer before claiming responsiblity to ISIS.
Mass shootings should be seen as a matter of public and mental health, and they are increasing. Preventative measures should be informed more frequently before it is too late. Mass shootings have been around in America, but public, random violence is on the rise.