00:52 - Source: KPRC
Gunmen shoot at police helicopter

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Dionisio Garza III, 25, of California was in a "mental health crisis," Houston police say

Garza killed one person and wounded six before a police sniper killed him, police say

CNN —  

A man who fired 212 rounds at bystanders, police patrol vehicles and a police helicopter on Sunday was a military veteran who appeared to be having “a mental health crisis,” Houston police said Tuesday.

Dionisio Garza III, 25, of California killed one person and wounded six others, including two law enforcement officers and a citizen who tried to help police, police Lt. John McGalin said at a news conference. A police sniper killed Garza after he had shot up the neighborhood for about an hour.

McGalin said investigators found writings by Garza at the scene but nothing to indicate links to terror groups.

“It just appears to be someone who was in a mental health crisis at that time,” he said.

Gunman shoots up neighborhood

Garza left the military in 2013 and appeared to be suffering from depression, McGalin said. He drove from California to Houston to visit friends on Saturday, broke into a tire shop and spent the night inside, McGalin said.

He seemed to pick the tire stop for it’s “strategic location,” McGalin said.

On Sunday morning Gaza came outside, confronted a man sitting in his vehicle at a nearby auto detailing business and shot and killed him, police said. CNN affiliate KTRK identified that man as Eugene Linscomb, 56.

Garza started firing with a high-powered rifle at passing vehicles, police vehicles, officers who responded to the scene and a police helicopter overhead. A bullet apparently hit a nearby service station and caused it to erupt in flames, McGalin said.

Garza also shot a man from the neighborhood who came to the scene with a firearm to help police, McGalin said. Police originally thought that man might have been an accomplice. The man was “outgunned” and shot in the leg by Garza when he tried to flee, McGalin said.

All the wounded people are expected to recover, police have said.

Acting Police Chief Martha I. Montalvo said police detonated Garza’s backpack and may have destroyed evidence. The confusion occurred because two police units thought the other had taken care of the backpack, she said.

CNN’s Carma Hassan and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.