A mass shooting may have been prevented when a grandmother turned in her grandson. She told authorities that her grandson, 19-year-old William Patrick Williams, recently purchased an AK-47 and was planning to “shoot up” a hotel. She also said that Williams intended to “commit suicide by cop” once the massacre was over.
On July 13, according to a report by CNN, Williams, who resides in Lubbock, Texas, told his grandmother about his plan. He had already purchased an AK-47 rifle along with ammunition and had rented a hotel room at the location where he allegedly planned to kill people.
Williams’ grandmother convinced Williams to go to a hospital instead, saying he needed treatment.
Concern about Williams’ mental and emotional state, the grandmother contacted local authorities and told them about his plan.
After his hospitalization, on August 2, Williams was arrested. He gave investigators permission to search his hotel room, where they discovered an AK-47, multiple knives, and 17 loaded magazines.
Other items found in the room included black tactical pants, a black trench coat, and a t-shirt with the phrase, “Let Em’ Come.”
On July 21, the ATF reviewed the firearms transaction form associated with Williams’ purchase, which was made on July 11. They discovered that Williams’ had lied about his address as he had previously been evicted from that property and was no longer residing there.
Williams is charged with making false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer. The offense can result in a prison sentence of up to five years.
The investigation was a joint effort between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Lubbock Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“This was a tragedy averted,” US Attorney Nealy Cox stated. “I want to praise the defendant’s grandmother, who saved lives by interrupting this plot, as well as the Lubbock police officers and federal agents who investigated his unlawful acquisition of a deadly weapon.”
“The safety of our citizens is paramount,” Lubbock Interim Police Chief Jerry Brewer said. “When events like this occur, we greatly appreciate the cooperative relationships with our federal law enforcement partners that enhance our abilities to protect the community.”