Crime

Grandmother thwarted mass shooting at Lubbock hotel; teen charged in federal case

Suicides are rising across the U.S.

Suicide is on the rise across the United States. It is more than a mental health condition — states and communities can adopt comprehensive strategies to prevent suicide.
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Suicide is on the rise across the United States. It is more than a mental health condition — states and communities can adopt comprehensive strategies to prevent suicide.

A planned mass shooting at a Lubbock hotel was averted when a gunman’s grandmother convinced him he needed to go to a hospital, according to federal authorities.

Authorities found an AK-47 in the suspect’s hotel room, 17 magazines loaded with 7.62 ammunition, a black trench coat, multiple knives, black tactical pants, black tactical gloves with the fingers cut off and a black T-shirt that said, “Let ‘Em Come.”

William Patrick Williams, 19, of Lubbock, was arrested Thursday and charged on Friday with making false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer.

Williams remained in the Lubbock County Jail in Lubbock on Sunday. If convicted, he faces a maximum of five years in federal prison.

“This was a tragedy averted,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox in a Friday news release. “I want to praise the defendant’s grandmother, who saved lives by interrupting this plot as well as Lubbock police officers and federal agents who investigated his unlawful acquisition of a deadly weapon.”

On July 11, Williams is accused of purchasing the AK-47 at Cabela’s and listed his relatives’ address at one location in Lubbock where he no longer resided. He was living at a different address after his relatives evicted him.

Williams called his grandmother and said he was homicidal and suicidal. She could hear him handling a firearm, but she was able to convince him to let her pick him up and take him to a hospital.

Lubbock police were later informed that Williams was admitted to Covenant Medical Center for psychiatric assessment after making threats to commit a mass shooting, according to federal documents.

After his release from the hospital, Williams was at his hotel room when he allowed Lubbock police to enter his room and they discovered the weapons. The hotel was not named in the court documents.

Officers also found documents chronicling Williams’ depression disorder and anti-depressant medication, according to the court documents.

Federal officials also received the firearms transaction form that Williams had completed on July 11.

“The safety of our citizens is paramount,” said Lubbock interim Police Chief Jerry Brewer in the news release. “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.”

Lubbock police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the FBI investigated the case.

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