Houston gunman’s rampage ends with suspect dead – USA TODAY
Houston police say a local lawyer who was “having issues with his law firm” opened fire near a shopping mall Monday morning.
USA TODAY NETWORK
A disgruntled Houston lawyer on a pre-dawn shooting rampage wounded nine people Monday before he was fatally shot by police officers responding to the chaotic scene, police said.
Acting Police ChiefÂ MarthaÂ Montalvo said one victim was critically wounded and five others required hospitalization after the man opened fire at passing carsÂ near the West University area of southwest Houston.
Police tweeted they were on the scene ofÂ Â an “active shooter incident” north of West University, then tweetedÂ that a suspect “has been shot by our officers.” Later they tweeted that the shooter had died.
Montalvo said officers responded to 911 calls of a shooter in the neighborhood and quickly became the suspect’s target. Officers returned fire, and it appeared the suspect was killed by an officer’s bullet,Â Montalvo said.Â The suspect, who she did not name, was a neighborhood resident andÂ an attorney who was havingÂ problems at his law firm, Montalvo said.
She said police found numerous weapons at the scene. The suspect’s Porsche was scrutinized by a bomb-squad robot, and she said the man’s home was also thoroughly searched. Residents of a local condominium building were asked to shelter in place for several hoursÂ while the investigation was active.
There were no reports of other gunmen, Montalvo said.
Several ambulances and other emergency vehicles responded to the Randalls grocery store shopping center shortly at about 6:30 a.m. local time. Bellaire, West University and Houston emergency responders worked together to take the victims to area hospitals.
Local resident Jennifer Molleda, 45,Â who lives in the same building as the suspect, said she heard the first shots at 6:12 a.m. as her husband was leaving for work. Moments later she heard her husband’s Mustang roaring out of control.
She called him, and he said “I’m hit, Jen, I’m hit.” The car had two bullet holes in the side and her husband was rushed to the hospital, where he was bloodiedÂ but OK, she said.
“He’s safe, he’s alive,” she said, adding that she recognized the shooter’s car. She said he recently had an angry dispute with a roofing contractor and “I believe he was waiving around his AR (assault rifle).” She said she did not know the man well.
Local resident Lee Williams, 55, said he tried to direct traffic away from the shooter, telling the Associated Press heÂ heard at least 50 gunshots over about a 40-minute period.
“Whatever cars were going by, he was shooting at them,” Williams said.
Eduardo Andrade, 42, told the Houston Chronicle he inadvertently droveÂ his Audi A3 into the middle of the active shooter scene but was not wounded.
“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,” he said.Â “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.”
Antwon Wilson, 30, told the AP he also found himself drivingÂ into the shooting scene after dropping off his girlfriend at work. He fled to safety butÂ could âliterally hear the gunfire flying.â
Several blocks in the area were closed off. Some vehicles in the area were parked with bullet holes or shattered windshields.
“Please join me in keeping the victims of the shooting in Houston this morning in your thoughts and prayers,” Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted similar sentiments: “Heidi and my prayers are with the victims and the families of those affected by the shooting in#HoustonÂ this morning.”
Houston police say several people have been shot at a strip mall in the city’s southwest and that officers shot the gunman. (Sept. 26)