The arrest of a Texas man who allegedly confided in his grandmother a plot to carry out a mass shooting is "a tragedy averted," according to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Special agents arrested 19-year-old William Patrick Williams, of Lubbock, Thursday after he was accused of making false statements to a federally-licensed firearms dealer.
On July 13, Williams allegedly informed his grandmother of a recent AK-47 rifle purchase and his plans to "shoot up" a local hotel and then commit suicide.
After hearing the plan, Williams' grandmother took him to a local hospital, according to the criminal complaint.
Officers searched the room Williams had rented at the hotel and found the AK-47 rifle he told his grandmother he possessed, along with ammunition, knives and black clothing, including a T-shirt that read "Let 'Em Come," officials said.
Authorities later discovered that Williams allegedly misrepresented his current address on the firearms transaction form used to purchase the AK-47, officials said.
"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. 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."
Williams first appeared in court Friday. He faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted.