The young man reportedly had an entire plan of carrying out an attack at a local hotel, but the grandmother's prompt action averted a possible tragedy.
Every time a tragedy caused by violence, the one thing that many want to know is who is behind it and what drove them to unleash such terror and snuff out innocent lives with a finger on the trigger. While there is definitely no denying that it is inexcusable beyond doubt, quite a few still believe that mass shootings can be avoided with the right kind of care and attention. And one grandma who seemed to think the same managed to avert what could have been another major tragedy in Texas, just days before the Walmart shooting in El Paso.
The woman noticed that her grandson, 19-year-old William Patrick Williams, was close to committing such a heinous crime but her prompt efforts ensured that she thwarted his plans and possibly saved the lives of many innocent people.
A month before the El Paso shooting in Texas, the young man from Lubbock told his grandmother about his plan to "shoot up" a local hotel and that he'd even bought an AK-47 rifle for it, according to Fox News. "The grandmother could hear Williams manipulating a firearm on the phone and was able to persuade Williams to let her pick him up," the complaint said, according to NPR.
The woman, possibly having never imagined that her own grandson would plot a crime like this, managed to convince William to get help before it was too late. Williams accompanied his grandmother to the hospital for treatment.
Woman thwarts mass shooting by bringing grandson to hospital. Williams told his grandmother he purchased an AK-47 rifle and planned to "shoot up" a local hotel and commit suicide by cop. https://t.co/RJR2bsw1cG— Andrew (@andrewdecker593) August 6, 2019
The woman could see that he was showing homicidal and suicidal tendencies, and took action to avert a mass shooting. Officers were later given consent to search the room that William had rented at the hotel. There, they found the AK-47 rifle, 17 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, according to a statement by the US Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Texas.
“This was a tragedy averted,” said US 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 William is proven guilty and convicted, he is expected to face up to five years in federal prison.
To save even the life of one innocent person matters. And if the grandmother hadn't taken action at the right time, the young man may have gone on to torment and end the lives of many.
The officials also urged people to come forward if they ever find a valid reason to suspect someone they know. US Attorney Nealy 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."
While officers do a great deal to ensure the safety of citizens, the extra bits of information that family members provide can be of utmost help. “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.”
In the recent shootings that took place at the Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in downtown Dayton, Ohio, and in Chicago, Illinois, a significant number of people were directly and indirectly affected by it. It was also reported that 250 mass shootings had taken place so far in this year alone.
Along with sending out prayers to the bereaved families and hope for the people who are recovering from injuries, it's also important to stay vigilant and stand together as a community.