KATY (Covering Katy News) – Have you ever had a motorist shoot a bullet at you in Katy or West Harris County? That’s what investigators with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office want to know after arresting a Katy man who has been charged in connection with a shooting along South Mason Road on July 10 in front of the Simoniz Car Wash.
Nicholas Martin Dagostino of 22003 Grand Forks Drive remains behind bars charged with aggravated assault, a felony. His home is in a neighborhood behind the car wash, about 100 yards away according to the complaint filed against him.
Dagostino has not made the $75,000 bond and remained behind bars at the time this story was posted. He’s charged with one felony count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon but is expected to face more charges as the sheriff’s office has kicked off a major investigation into at least five other shootings that they believe he’s been involved in. They have labeled all of the shootings “random,” even though Dagostino claims self-defense.
Dagostino claims the victim swerved into his lane twice and that’s why he fired a .45 caliber round from his handgun during the south Mason Road shooting.
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The surveillance video does not back his story according to investigators who say no road rage incident happened. The most frightening aspect of the case for detectives is that Dagostino allegedly told them he’s shot at other drivers several times before.
“Through our investigation and through talking to him (Dagostino) five is a loose number that we came up with,” said Detective Dennis Palmer.
“We believe this (the shootings) to primarily be in western Harris County, perhaps near the Katy area,” Palmer said.
A court document, reviewed by Covering Katy News, also reveals that the victim heard her window break but did not initially realize that she’d been shot.
“As she was pulling into the car wash she heard a noise and realized her driver’s side door window was cracked and assumed it had been hit by a rock,” the document reveals. “She states when she pulled into the car wash, she stopped to survey the damage and observed blood running down her arm and realized she’d been shot.”
The bullet struck her arm and continued on to her chest. It remains inside the chest of the victim, very close to her heart.
According to the complaint against Dagostino, the investigator looked at surveillance video from the car wash where he saw “quick movement or a muzzle flash” coming from the Ford Explorer. Detectives determined that the bullet could not have come from anywhere else.
Detectives used a combination of high-tech programs and hundreds of hours of old-fashioned detective work to lead them to Dagostino. Palmer admits that all of the detectives were highly motived to solve this case.
“The randomness and senselessness of it really bothered me. We work hard on every case but this one really lit a fire underneath me to get it solved,” Palmer said. He admitted that he likely inconvenienced a lot of people as he and attempted to find the alleged shooter’s vehicle.
“I know that there are a lot of people out in the Katy area who are going to look at this and say, ‘hey that’s the guy that showed up at my house at 4 o’clock in the morning looking for that Ford Explorer that we sold a long time ago.”
Now detectives are in desperate need of getting help from the public as they build the case against a man they see as extremely dangerous. If anyone has experienced a situation where their vehicle has been shot, or a bullet has come close to them, they are asked to contact Crime Stoppers or the sheriff’s office.
Harris County Sheriff’s 713-274-9210
Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
See additional photos below.