A month before two mass shootings left more than 30 people dead, a Texas woman stopped her grandson from going forward with his own planned attack, federal officials revealed.
William Patrick Williams, a 19-year-old man from Lubbock, told his grandmother in mid-July that he had just bought an AK-47 rifle and planned to “shoot up” a local hotel, then commit suicide by letting police kill him, according to the Department of Justice.
Instead, Williams’ grandmother, who has not been publicly identified, convinced him to go to the hospital for treatment.
William Patrick Williams, 19, has been charged with making false statements to a firearms dealer
After the woman alerted authorities, police found the gun in his rented hotel room, along with 17 loaded magazines, multiple knives, a black trench coat, black tactical pants, a black T-shirt that read “Let ‘Em Come,” and black tactical gloves with the fingers cut off, according to the DOJ.
“This was a tragedy averted,” U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox said in a statement.
More than a week later, officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were able to track down the firearms transaction form Williams had used to buy the gun and discovered that he had lied about his address and listed a relative’s home instead of a roommate.
Williams was charged with making false statements to a federally-licensed firearms dealer and faces up to five years in prison.
After looking into the forms Williams filled out to purchase the weapon, police said he appeared to list false information on the forms and allegedly misrepresented his address. On Thursday, he was arrested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI for making false statements to a firearms dealer.
Williams appeared in court on Friday, and authorities say he could face up to five years in federal prison.