Lubbock, TX – A Texas grandmother has been credited with stopping a mass shooting after she talked her 19-year-old grandson into getting psychiatric help.
William Patrick Williams called his grandmother from a hotel room on July 13 and told her he was feeling homicidal and suicidal, The Washington Post reported.
His grandmother told police she could hear him fiddling with the new AK-47 he’d just purchased as he talked to her.
A criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Williams told his grandmother that he wanted to “shoot up” the hotel and then “commit suicide by cop” when police responded to the scene, The Washington Post reported.
Williams’ grandmother talked him into letting her take him to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock for a psychiatric evaluation instead.
When officers searched his hotel room later with Williams’ permission after he had been hospitalized, they found that the man had set out his guns and all of his gear on his bed, The Washington Post reported.
Police found an AK-47 rifle, 17 magazines loaded with ammunition, a black trench coat, black tactical pants, gloves, and a black t-shirt with the words “Let ‘Em Come.”
"This was a tragedy averted," U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in a statement. "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."
“We avoided another huge crisis,” Cox told The Washington Post.
Cox said the 19 year old was not on any state or federal watch lists and gave all the credit to the would-be gunman’s grandmother.
“We wouldn’t have known he was contemplating this,” the prosecutor said. “She saved his life, injury to him, and probably to multiple people’s lives.”
Williams was arrested Aug. 1 and charged with making false statements to a firearms dealer, The Washington Post reported.
Court documents said Williams had submitted a firearms form to a gun dealer on July 11.
On the form, he said that he lived at his aunt and uncle’s address, according to The Washington Post.
However, Williams had moved out of the aunt and uncle’s home several days earlier.
Federal officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives determined the address was outdated when Williams signed the form, The Washington Post reported.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.