DALLAS (KAMR/KCIT) – U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced today a Lubbock man allegedly contemplating a mass shooting has been charged by criminal complaint with making false statements to a federally-licensed firearms dealer.
U.S. Attorney Cox say ATF and FBI arrested 19-year-old William Patrick Williams following a brief hospitalization.
According to a criminal complaint 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. Williams’s grandmother however convinced him to go to a local hospital and receive treatment.
Law enforcement later searched the room Williams had rented at the hotel. Officers found an AK-47 rifle, 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.
Eight days later, ATF received the firearms transaction form that Williams had completed on July 11, when purchasing the AK-47. On the form, Mr. Williams listed his relatives’ address, where he no longer resided. Agents discovered that although Mr. William’s driver’s license showed the family members’ address, Mr. Williams was actually living with a roommate at a different address, following eviction by his relatives. He had allegedly misrepresented his current address on the firearms transaction form.
“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.”
“The safety of our citizens is paramount,” said Lubbock Interim Police Chief Jerry Brewer. “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.”
“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.”
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.
If convicted, the defendant faces up to five years in federal prison.
The Lubbock Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Haag, NDTX’s West Texas Branch Chief, is prosecuting the case.