Less than a month before two lethal shootings in one weekend took the lives of 29 individuals, another mass shooting was halted.
William Patrick Williams, 19, a Lubbock, Texas man, was arrested by special agents of the FBI and ATF, the US Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Texas announced Friday, Aug., 2.
Williams allegedly contemplated a mass shooting and purchased ammunition. He rented a hotel space where he was plotting to murder individuals before his grandma, after learning his plan, convinced him to visit a hospital, the release said.
According to the release, on July 13, Williams informed his grandma that he had bought an AK-47 rifle, planned to “shoot up” a hotel and “then commit suicide by cop.”
Before his arrest, his grandmother got him into therapy.
Authorities applauded Williams grandmother’s courageous actions, saying that her interference probably saved many lives.
“This was a tragedy averted,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “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.”
After hospitalization, Williams was arrested and allowed investigators to search his hotel room, the release said.
According to the release, investigators discovered an AK-47 rifle, 17 ammunition-loaded magazines, and numerous knives in Williams’s hotel room.
Other items recovered from the room were a black trench coat, black tactical pants, a black T-shirt reading “Let’Em Come.”
Williams informed policemen that he had placed his guns on a bed so that they could be taken into custody by law enforcement.
On July 21, when Williams lied about his residence, the ATF got a firearms transaction form filled out on July 11.
He was charged with making false statements to a firearms dealer and on account of his statement that he lived at an address he had been expelled from. The offense carries up to five years in federal prison.
“The FBI worked closely with our partners at the ATF and Lubbock Police Department to prevent the defendant from potentially committing a violent act,” said Matthew DeSarno, FBI’s Dallas field office special agent.
“This case is a perfect example of law enforcement agencies coming together to find a solution that protected the public from harm.”