William Patrick Williams, 19, is behind bars after reportedly planning to execute a massacre at a local hotel. He reportedly planned to have police kill him during the planned event.
His grandmother, however, came forward and told authorities that she was deeply concerned for Williams’ mental and emotional state, and notified them that he’d purchased an AK-47 weapon in recent days.
What are the details?
Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said that Williams reportedly told his grandmother that he’d purchased the weapon and planned to carry out an attack.
His grandmother, who remains unnamed at the time of this writing, convinced him to go to a local hospital.
Federal agents arrested Williams on Thursday after his hospital stay. During a search of Williams’ hotel room, federal agents discovered the AK-47 along with 17 full magazines, knives, and black tactical clothing.
According to the complaint, Williams told officers he spread out the gear on the hotel room bed so that law enforcement could take custody of the weapons.
Williams was also accused of providing a gun dealer with an outdated physical address, and has been charged with making false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer.
If convicted, Williams faces up to five years in federal prison in connection with the charges.
What is being said about this?
Nealy Cox heaped praise on Williams’ grandmother for being proactive in helping to quash a potential incident.
“This was a tragedy averted,” Nealy Cox said. “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.”
She added, “If you suspect a friend or loved one is planning violence against themselves or others, do not hesitate to seek help immediately by calling law enforcement.”
Lubbock Interim Police Chief Jerry Brewer added, “The safety of our citizens is paramount. 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.”
ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Division Craig W. Saier expressed his gratitude for those bureaus who assisted in the investigation and arrest.
“ATF is committed to preventing firearms violence. The ATF Dallas Field Division wants to thank our state, local and federal partners who cooperated in this investigation,” Saier added.
Matthew DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Office, said, “The FBI worked closely with our partners at the ATF and Lubbock Police Department to prevent the defendant from potentially committing a violent act. This case is a perfect example of law enforcement agencies coming together to find a solution that protected the public from harm.”