In the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend, a grandmother prevented an act of domestic terrorism that her grandson had planned to carry out at a hotel in Texas.
According to a criminal complaint, William Patrick Williams from Lubbock, called his grandmother on July 13 and told her he was homicidal and suicidal.
The 19-year-old had planned to go on a shooting spree at a local hotel with his recently purchased AK-47 and then "commit suicide by cop."
She responded by convincing Williams to help her bring him to a local hospital instead.
Federal authorities believe that another act of violence was prevented because the grandmother listened and acted accordingly.
U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox told the news outlet:
"This was a tragedy averted. I want to praise the defendant's grandmother, who saved lives by interrupting this plot."
Grandmother averts mass shooting by bringing grandson to hospital after threats. Authorities found an AK-47, 17 ma… https://t.co/zUP5Rx8Ppl— NBC News (@NBC News)1565030824.0
Redditors commended the grandmother for recognizing his cry for help.
"She listened, and she gave a s**t. If more people would do these two simple things, more tragedies would probably be averted." – linda-stanley
"People are quick to write off someone as crazy when they need help the most. Sometimes, even against someone's behest, if they're genuinely a threat to themselves it's worth calling for help." – ThatGuy798
Twitter also praised her for potentially saving many lives.
@abc13houston Thank God for this grandmother, no telling how many lives she saved. I’m sure she’s still praying for his heart and mind.— Ty Jenkins (@Ty Jenkins)1565092195.0
@NBCNews Thank you GRANDMA! YOU SAVED MANY LIVES!— Stick Best (@Stick Best)1565030939.0
@NBCNews @exhaustedtoo And like that he has a much greater chance of turning his life around. Thank you Grandma— Lol (@Lol)1565031310.0
@NBCNews Wonderful and brave women who did the right thing for her grandchild. If only other people would do the s… https://t.co/afrC5VpDmC— TakingBackTejas (@TakingBackTejas)1565030972.0
@NPR Nanny’s having none of that!— IseeYOUsittingThere (@IseeYOUsittingThere)1565044253.0
When searching Williams's hotel room where he was staying, police discovered the weapon he had mentioned to his grandmother along with 17 magazines loaded with 7.62 ammunition, and multiple knives.
They also found black tactical pants, a black trench coat, black tactical gloves with the fingers cut off, and a black T-shirt that read "Let 'Em Come."
Police said Williams gave false information and a relative's address where he no longer resided when filling out the requisite forms to purchase the firearm on July 11.
People had questions about the system that allows young adults to buy guns.
@NBCNews I want to know how a 19 year old got his hands on an AK-47.— Lloyd Osten (@Lloyd Osten)1565031206.0
@NPR A paperwork error may have played a big role in this. It shows how hamstrung our laws are, how hard it can be… https://t.co/rV42Dmj2CH— Bob Kershaw (@Bob Kershaw)1565043364.0
@NPR Without the paperwork error, we'd be looking at what, a temporary involuntary hold? May or may not be able to… https://t.co/HTHdqmVqUG— Bob Kershaw (@Bob Kershaw)1565043474.0
Praise for the grandmother continued, and she reminded people of the importance of communication among family and friends.
@NPR Grandmothers know best. I am sure this was tough on her but it likely saved many lives. Take time and talk wit… https://t.co/3QaCusa11s— Mark Furse (@Mark Furse)1565046932.0
@NPR Rough call for Grandma, but undoubtedly saved lives. She's my hero.— ❄TRUE2theBLUE 🚴♂️🏃 (@❄TRUE2theBLUE 🚴♂️🏃)1565043290.0
@NPR We need more grandmas involved in their families lives.— C Villavisencio (@C Villavisencio)1565047073.0
On Thursday after a brief hospitalization, Williams was arrested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI for providing false information to the arms dealer.
According to the statement, the filed criminal complaint is a "formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence."
He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
For violent tendencies identified early, the book Hope for the Violently Aggressive Child: New Diagnoses and Treatments that Work is available here.
If Williams is convicted, he could face up to five years in federal prison.
In his statement, Cox 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."