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“A lawyer who opened fire on commuters for no apparent reason during the morning predawn rush hour in a Houston neighborhood Monday, wounding nine people, was wearing a vintage military uniform and had Nazi emblems on him,” reports. Cops also found a Thompson submachine gun and 2,600 rounds of ammunition in Nathan DeSai’s black convertible Porsche parked near where he was killed.

desantis-blue-logo-no-back-4-smallApparently, Mr. DeSai was your average everyday failing lawyer — with a taste for Nazi memorabilia and pre-1984 machine guns. You gotta think he was good at hiding his mental instability; a Sheriff had to have signed-off on the Thompson. Anyway, there are plenty of other examples of spree killers who showed clear signs that they were psycho, including the Sandy Hook murderer and the Aurora cinema shooter.

Truth be told, I had a friend who fell into severe mental illness. He showed no interest in firearms or hurting others, he was getting [completely ineffective] treatment and had a clean record. But our relationship became untenable. I discontinued contact. Sad to say, if I got a call from a reporter saying he’d done something horrible, I wouldn’t be surprised.

You even known anyone like that: a friend, neighbor, classmate, colleague or someone else you thought could be psycho killer? If so, what’s the proper response to that possibility?

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  1. Actually, a sheriff wouldn’t have had to sign off on the Thompson if he got it under a trust, which, as a lawyer, he should have been competent to draw up on his own. Up until 41f, he wouldn’t even have needed prints.

    • I remember reading somewhere that it was just a semi-auto version of a Thompson, not a real one. A pistol caliber carbine, not a submachine gun. Does anybody know for sure?

  2. I never went to a HS reunion because of how poorly my classmates treated a particular fellow and how he had told me way back then (33 years ago) of his desire for bloody revenge on a number of people throughout his life. This year I found out that he had gone and got along with everyone fine and was now an apparently well adjusted and socially active (much more than I) guy.

    • HPD Homicide Cpt. Dwayne Ready: “The suspect had two weapons on him at the time, either on his person or in his car that he was standing nearby at the time of this incident, one of them is a .45 semi-automatic handgun, the other one is a .45 semi-automatic Thompson carbine, commonly known as a Tommy gun,” Ready said.

      • A semi auto Thompson carbine is not a Tommy gun.

        He had 2 weapons, both chambered in .45 acp. He shot 9 people and nobody died. Thank god he wasn’t using the .9mm.

      • Thanks, at their press conference they said “what appears to be a Thompson sub machine gun…and other historic military weapons”.

      • Correct and another author error: “…taste for Nazi memorabilia and pre-1984 machine guns.”

        If it were a transferable Thompson it would have been pre-May 19th, 1986 machine-gun NOT “pre-1984.”

  3. I can’t say I have known anyone that I wouldn’t be surprised did something terrible, at least not someone that I’ve known well. I can think of a couple people I knew of who were off like that but I distanced myself from those people as much as possible.

    Hilariously, according to the Lefties your average TTAG reader is very likely a mass shooter in waiting.

  4. ive known 2 people specifically. one was just in passing, was a sort-of friend at JobCorp. The other is a friend now. Until he started dating, i worried about him pretty heavily. She has kids and he has taken on the roll of step-dad pretty well. His patience with her POS dad amazes me sometimes. Most of these guys suffer from extreme isolation. once the isolation is broken, i would hope their psychosis would break too.

  5. “Serial Killer” :::: “Mass Killer” is an after-the-fact label. What do you do if you think someone you know is one. First, look in the mirror.

    Many people knew Mr. Desai, both personally, and professionally. He was instructed / urged by his law school trainers and, later, state Bar Association to rise / and hold himself above the conflicts that he was licensed to help/counsel his clients with, and he was not able to. Psychosis can be suprising, but stupid behavior is not (as much). He had some stressers certainly, but unhelpful relationships and/or substance abuse likely compounded their effect to this end. GOD help his victims, him, his family and community, and ALL OTHERS SITTING ON A SIMILAR FENCE, because you can’t pre-crime around this, and society has to hold itself to better account without penetrating any further into individuals individualism or private life.

    No one can protect you on the individual level. Claiming that you can is only binding the hands of the victims.

    I liken it to a recent question posted here on another post, (something to the effect of) what do you do in an active shooter situation / bank robbery (etc.) if you are armed. They might be justified and you might be wrong.

    Push back hard on the overt, and use your spidey-sense to mainly protect you.

  6. Sometimes you just get a funny vibe about a person when you meet them. Those are people I tend to stay away from.

    Actual spree killers are extremely rare, but nonetheless, creepy people do creepy things.

  7. I have not known anyone that I thought could be a spree killer.

    I had a friend in college who decided one day to sexually assault and kidnap a young girl. He was definitely a little bit “different” … yet gave absolutely no indication whatsoever of anything sinister brewing in his mind.

    He is the primary reason why I carry a handgun and keep long guns in the home. His actions are a real world example that bad stuff can happen to good people when and where you least expect it.

    I might also add that I was instrumental in helping police determine that he was the perpetrator and send him to prison for 26 years. He is out of prison now and I wonder if he desires to get even with me for my role in his imprisonment. That is another reason that I am armed.

  8. Besides the lose of life (even a sick life) it also really sucks that that gun will be destroyed by the feds. :/

  9. Hmm. We have an aspiring spree-killer who had a full-auto machine gun, “thousands of rounds” of ammunition, Nazi insignia, and no outward indication that he was mentally unstable? In other words we just had an event where we can associate mass casualties, firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, full-auto machine guns, Nazi sympathizers, and everyone is a time bomb?

    On top of all that, the perpetrator has a caucasian sounding name (Nathan De Sai), light-enough complexion to easily pass for caucasian, and no one is referring to him as Indian or Middle-Eastern (his father’s first name is Prakash which is Indian).

    This sounds like a perfect event to garner support for gun-control. Could this be a false-flag operation?

      • Apparently this site is very lightly moderated. I would have thought one commenter calling another commenter crazy just for posting a harmless opinion would have brought down the ban hammer.

        • I dunno, matt. Should we worry about a stalker that changes ID frequently, sometimes in the same thread, a self professed “proud racist”, might be capable of outbursts of violence? You used to claim you had a nazi uniform. And like this fellow you’re not exactly able to pass a master race background check.

        • LOL OK Midnight.

          One guy expresses a harmless opinion, another gives an equally harmless opinion that the OP might be talking crazy.

          You must be a laugh a minute to talk to IRL.

    • Not a false-flag. This was the real deal, but the press all but overlooked it because he didn’t get close to the high score and his Tommy gun wasn’t black, and when they found out he was Indian they quickly brushed the stories to the back page.

  10. It sounds like, at least in his mind, he had a reason. But then with these sorts of things, they usually do. The media would like to paint it as a upstanding lawyer was going about his day and just… Snapped! And that is why no one can be trusted with guns!

    He had it all wrong if he was an aspiring SS, he should have picked up a p38 and mp40… Maybe we should ban Nazis? And lawyers?

  11. Given their provocative online natures and their self-told real life histories of firearm-related confrontations, I can see Cali-Zim and Illini-Zim goading somebody into physically attacking them, then either brandishing or using their illegally/semi-legally carried firearms and claiming self defense. But premeditated mass shooting? No.

  12. What I find jarring is that the media all but abandoned this story within about 24 hours. I mean, how is this not a captivating story? An Indian-American lawyer who helped found a chapter of a Jewish fraternity in college puts on a Nazi uniform and has a Mad Minute in Houston out of his Porsche, but a day later it’s forgotten because they dug up a former beauty queen whose feelings were once hurt by Donald Trump?

  13. Bring them in…. enculturate them… They’re leaving society essentially, and if we let them they can rationalize anything.

    This takes time, effort, and emotional investment…

  14. I’ve known several coworkers and one boss earlier in my career who I would not be surprised to learn had done something. Each was a plotting, conniving, vindictive man with either no power whatsoever, or a hugely exaggerated sense of what power they did have. As a result, they were each constantly stressed over not getting their way and what they believed they were due.?

  15. Yeah. I grew up with almost a half a dozen of them. One became a mercenary last seen in Kosovo, one lives in the wilderness, trapping, one lives in jail, one works in a jail as a guard, and one is missing, presummed to be dead.

  16. Had a high school classmate who raped and murdered his GF in a Chicago area forest preserve after HS graduation (George “Gock” Peters.) It was very chilling for me when I heard about it because I once got into a tussle with him. I won but I was just acting out of instinct in the moment. In a deliberate fight he would have trashed me.

  17. I’m sure we all knew some guy in high school that creeped everybody out. We had a couple at mine, most I think were either benign weirdos or putting on an act. Of course there was the one that seemed capable.

    I briefly worked at a Kroger during college, and my former manager got busted trying to strangle a hooker. He had no problem telling his co-workers that he picked up hookers, and he was strange to say the least. When I heard that news, I wasn’t surprised.

  18. Terminology is important.

    A “spree killer” is defined as someone who kills two or more victims in a short time in multiple locations. “Mass murderers” kill in one incident, with no interval between the murders. Charles Starkweather and Christopher Dorner were spree killers. The Orlando shooter was a mass murderer.

    I’ve known a lot of crazy dudes, but I never knew anybody that crazy.

    I did know several genuine badasses back in the day, including a guy who is now a very serious mafia capo. He scared the hell out of everybody back then as a street wannabe, and now that he’s a high ranking mobster he still does. But if you mean him no harm, you’d be as safe from him as you’d be in your own mother’s arms.

  19. Yep I’ve known several potential spree killers. The troll by the light of the moon/gray idiot may be one. You certainly got the very lightly moderated fact right. Pathetic troll…

  20. Lucky me. I have to drive by two neighbors to leave home that will probably go Postal any day now. What do I do? I don’t leave home unarmed and avoid any confrontation with them. They both know I carry so I have that going for me.
    It’s just a matter of time with one, he was sued by our City this year and I’m a Council Member.

  21. I went to college with one or two. Both were expelled or otherwise had to leave. One had a penchant for pulling switchblades on people in his dorm, and was eventually expelled for…erm…pleasuring himself in a dorm lounge while bare-ass naked, watching tentacle hentai at two in the afternoon. There was plenty of violent behavior leading up to this.

  22. “You even known anyone like that”?

    I’d be highly surprised if anyone managed to get through high school and *didn’t* know a *potential* – key word there – spree killer. Hormones will do wild and crazy things to your thought processes.

  23. I worked with a guy who was involved in a weird “love triangle”. I fired him a couple of times, but the union kept bringing him back. He would miss work for days, then come back and scream and cry (literally) about how everyone was against him. We all blew him off as a douchebag. Then one night, he took a 45 to his girlfriend’s house, blew her brains out, and then turned the gun on himself. For some insight into how clever this guy was, he used to lock his girlfriend in the car while he was working because if she was at home she would cheat on him. I was letting guys in to work one night when I noticed his car was a rockin’ and the windows were steamed up. I went and told him, he went running outside, pulled some dude out of the car who promptly beat the hell out of him. He couldn’t understand how the guy had got in there because he had locked the doors from the outside. No joke.

  24. I know one right now who may be a ticking time bomb. He is the son of my Uncle’s (now-ex) wife (not my aunt). He is so mentally ill that he cannot hide it. He paints his apartment (actually some good artwork), but writes that he’s a god and so forth, and regularly communicates openly with aliens, taking orders from “Tri-Star 63” and so forth. He’s also has accused my uncle of being an alien impersonator. He got arrested and told the police he had Navy SEAL training, Army Ranger training, and some other training.

    He is a textbook example of the failure of our mental health system. The problem is that he’s “supposed” to take medications for his illness, which make him much more sane. And the times he occasionally gets committed, they make him take the meds (or maybe inject him, not sure, but he gets them somehow). This however makes him sane, or sane enough, to the point that he then acts normal and thus gets released. Then he stops taking the meds and reverts back to Mr. Crazy.

    My fear is that he is going to at some point get a gun and do a shootout or something based on “orders” from “Tri Star 63” or thinking he’s killing alien invaders or something. He is the kind of person that the laws in states like California are created to have the guns, if the person is clearly mentally ill, taken away from by petitions from family/friends/etc…I understand fully the problems with such laws for abuse, however he is an example of where such a law could possibly save lives.

    Of course, the real solution is to fix the mental health system where such a person could be more forcibly committed, but then again that also gets into problems of rights.

    • The mental health profession is a joke. I know two doctors that have admitted this and my experience with a mentally unstable friend’s brother confirms their admission. When it comes to physical trauma and surgery, the medical profession has made a lot of progress, but pretty much every other field in medicine is still in the 1800’s thanks to the corruption in the industry.

  25. No, but I knew Nick Berg, who got his head his head carved off like a leg of lamb by that psycho ‘spree killing’ mass-murderer Zarqawi. I made the mistake of somehow clicking on the video the day it happened. Will never get that out of my head. Was ‘traumatized’ for a little while there as you can imagine, seeing that done to someone you know…

    I think everyone knows someone they think is a little ‘off’ and i have to say something about that weirds me out a little because it seems it has everyone looking at anyone who might be a little ‘abnormal’, but not in any way violent at all ever.

    As we can see from the thread, not one person has actually known a spree killer or mass murderer.

  26. I went to this fancy pants private high school with A kid named Max who was going to shoot up our school sophomore year. Luckily he got caught by his brother trying to steal his parents guns from their closet the morning of the planned shooting.

    His parents were both cops and they had all the good stuff you can’t have as a civilian in CA. Max threatened his brother, who was two years ahead of us, with one of the guns but he was able to talk Max down and called their parents who called the police on their son. I don’t have kids, but as a parent making that call has gotta suck worse than anything.

    When they arrested him they found a list of people at our school he was gonna blow away (mostly school bully types) and a suicide letter on him. He never came back to school and the court opted for intense psychological treatment instead of jail. I saw him again our senior year playing goalie for his new school’s soccer team and he seemed happy. Truth is I never saw him get bullied by anyone even though he was kinda the type of kid you’d expect it to happen to. He was always nice to everyone and didn’t show signs of being a lunatic beforehand like many other mass shooters do.

  27. Back when I was with my last girlfriend before marriage, there was always this close friend of hers that hung out with us. Ow did this crazy bitch like to bully me around. She made it look like I owed her something because my then GF didn’t have time for her when she was with me. Her EDC staple was, wait for it, a box cutter (the Walmart type with a sectioned blade that you break off as it gets dull). She was always threatening me with that box cutter to do SOMETHING, like getting her a drink, acting like a little lamb or whatever. I never took it seriously given the 2 glocks I constantly had with me. And it didn’t seem like she was really gonna do anything. But man I was sure there was a disconnexion somewhere in her brain. And my then GF said she looked like she had a thing for me.

    Notice all the past tense? She jumped off a roof. What a relief.

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