Monday, September 26, 2016

'Disgruntled' Lawyer Shoots 9 People in Suburban Neighborhood Before Being Killed by Police
16:45, 26 SEP 2016
Mirror Online

Witnesses and emergency officials described a chaotic scene as the gunman fired dozens of shots at random, sending people ducking for cover

Nine people were injured - one critically - after a disgruntled lawyer indiscriminately opened fire in a suburban neighbourhood before he was killed by police.

Police in Houston, Texas, confirmed the mass shooter was dead after firing at passing cars and officers who responded to the call for help at a shopping centre.

Six victims were being treated in hospital, with one in a critical condition and another in serious condition, and three others were released, said interim Houston police Chief Martha Montalvo.

She said the suspect was a lawyer who lived in the neighbourhood and police are investigating whether "issues" at his law firm were behind the shooting.

Witnesses and emergency officials described a chaotic scene as the gunman fired dozens of shots at random, sending people scrambling for cover in the morning darkness.

The gunman was shot dead near his parked car, which contained additional weapons, on a residential street near the shopping centre as heavily-armed police officers descended on the area.

His name was not released.

Montalvo told reporters: "The individual was firing actively at the officers, at which time the officers engaged the individual."

She said there was no indication a second shooter was involved, and the FBI is assisting local police agencies.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who is on a trade mission to Cuba, told TV station ABC 13 by telephone that the suspect appears to be a disgruntled lawyer who was fired or had a bad relationship with the law firm.

Firefighters who were called to treat the victims were first on scene and saw multiple victims but had to take cover because the gunman was shooting at cars.

A woman who was shot at as she drove to work along the normally quiet street shortly before 6:30am local time described the terrifying moment bullets pierced her car's windscreen.

She was cut by shards of glass as the window was shot out.

She told ABC 13: "I was driving down the street very slow and then started getting shot and I kept driving. My husband looked at my car and thinks there are six or seven gunshots.

"I pulled around the corner and called 911 and could still hear shots. The bullets were coming from the front and the glass shattered and I was cut."

Lawyer Skip Cornelius told the TV station his son was shot in the arm as he drove by but is expected to be OK.

He said: "I feel pretty lucky that he’s not hurt bad at all."

ABC 13 cameraman Jaime Zamora was on scene during the active shooter phase and took cover behind a pillar when he saw police and paramedics moving back.

He said: “The shots were coming almost non-stop - four, five, six at a time.

“It sounded like a pretty high-powered weapon.”

Witness Antoine Wilson said he "drove directly into the ambush" and could hear bullets going past his car.

He said: "There was a whole bunch of shooting. I didn't realise I was right there by the shooter, I didn't see who it was.

"I heard the gunshots by my face. I'm still shaken up. I seen two people and one police officer on the ground. It was crazy. It could've been me easily."

Before officers shut down traffic to protect drivers, witness Lee Williams used a torch to warn oncoming drivers and keep them away from the gunman.

He exited his home after hearing gunshots and could see "muzzle flashes" in the darkness.

Williams estimated he heard around 50 gunshots, including some that went past him, adding: "I wasn’t counting but they were coming in threes and fours."

His neighbour came outside with her rifle to protect herself from the gunman.

A short time later a woman drove past them in a car that had bullet holes in the windscreen, he said.

ABC13Reported shooting in Houston, Texas
Reported shooting in Houston, TexasPolice gather at the scene in south-west Houston
Emergency officials set up a triage centre to assess and treat the injured victims before they were taken to hospital.

A police bomb squad was called to an apartment building nearby to examine a Porsche Boxster that belonged to the suspect.

The man's body was on the ground next to the car.

The building's residents were told to shelter in place while a search of the car and the lawyer's apartment was conducted with robots.

As the situation unfolded an alert issued by the City of Houston called it an "active shooter situation" and warned people to avoid the area.

The city's emergency alert said the shooting occurred at a shopping centre in south-west Houston.

The alert said: "At this time, the shooting scene is believed to be contained, but residents are asked to please avoid the area of Wesleyan St, between Westpark Drive and Bissonnet Street as it is still an active response and investigation scene."

Texas Governor Mike Abbott wrote on Twitter: "Please join me in keeping the victims of the shooting in Houston this morning in your thoughts and prayers."

The shopping centre is home to a number of businesses, including a supermarket, pharmacy and bank, although many were closed at the time.

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