It’s a big step for a solo practitioner to hire an associate, but the milestone ended badly for one Texas attorney whose ex-associate landed in jail for allegedly firing a gun at the office after she lost her job.

The shooting happened at Martinez Legal, a firm launched by Denton, Texas, family law and estate planning attorney Marci Martinez in 2017, which has already grown enough to warrant a new office and the hiring of an associate. Martinez and her staff appeared to have a tight-knit relationship: The staff surprised Martinez with gifts and decorations for National Boss Day, and weeks later, Martinez shut down the office and treated everyone to breakfast and massages.

Petrina Thompson Dallas-area attorney Petrina Thompson. Photo: Denton County Jail