LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Lubbock man has been charged for making false statements to a federally-licensed firearms dealer, allegedly contemplating a mass shooting. His preliminary hearing and detention hearing is scheduled for Aug. 7 at 9:30 a.m. He will be held in custody until the hearing. There is no word if a bond will be set for him.
William Patrick Williams, 19, was arrested by special agents of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Thursday, following a brief hospitalization. He made his initial appearance in court Friday morning.
According to a report from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Texas, on July 13, Williams allegedly told his grandmother he had recently purchased an AK-47 rifle and planned to “shoot up” a local hotel and then commit suicide by cop. She convinced him to allow her to bring him to a hospital, the report says.
However, the report from the Lubbock Police Department says Williams told a nurse from Covenant the statement. The police report says before that, Williams called his grandmother and told her he was suicidal and homicidal. The report says the grandmother could hear Williams manipulating a firearm over the phone while she spoke to him. She was able to convince Williams to let her pick him up and take him to the hospital.
The police report says Williams was in the military for about a year before he was honorably discharged for suicidal tendencies. She told police she was unaware of any previous suicide attempts but knows that Williams has cut his arms before, according to the police report.
Williams gave police permission to search a hotel room he’d rented where they found an AK-47 rifle, seventeen magazines loaded with ammunition, 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. The police report says he layed out all his weapons on the bed for law enforcement to take custody of.
The ATF received the firearms transaction form that Williams had completed when purchasing the AK-47, where Williams listed a relative’s address as printed on his driver’s license, where he longer lived, misrepresenting information on the firearms transaction form. Williams was found to have been living with a roommate after being evicted by his relatives.
U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox said in the report this was a tragedy averted.
“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," said Attorney Nealy Cox, "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.”
“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,” said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Division Craig W. Saier.
“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, Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Office. “This case is a perfect example of law enforcement agencies coming together to find a solution that protected the public from harm.”
The report from U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox advises a criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence, and Mr. Williams is innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The report states the defendant could face up to five years in federal prison.
Williams was booked in the Lubbock County Detention Center on Thursday.