A Lubbock, Texas man was sentenced November 5 for accusations relating to threats he was accused of making to lure people out of a local hotel, shoot them with a rifle and then die at the hands of police.
William Patrick Williams, a 19-year-old rejected by the military for mental fitness reasons, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, was arrested in 2019 and accused of making a false statement to a firearm dealer at Cabela’s, according to the criminal complaint.
Court records show that Williams pleaded guilty to those charges.
The FBI Accused Williams of Planning to Shoot People in a Hotel
The FBI said that in July of 2019, Williams called his grandmother and told her that he planned to “shoot up” a hotel. During that call, according to the criminal complaint, Williams’ grandmother said he told her that he “was homicidal and suicidal” and that she could “hear Williams manipulating a firearm over the phone.”
Out of concern for his mental health, she brought him to a local hospital. Williams was then admitted to Covenant Medical Center for psychiatric assessment, according to a criminal complaint. Here is what the FBI described finding in his room:
Mr. Williams gave officers consent to search the room he had rented at the hotel, 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. Mr. Williams told officers he had laid out his weapons on the bed so that law enforcement could take custody of them.
“We are grateful to the many people – both within the defendant’s family and inside law enforcement – who came together to avert tragedy. We are hopeful Mr. Williams will get the treatment he needs while incarcerated,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in a statement.
Williams Will Be Permanently Barred From Possessing a Weapon
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal speculated that part of Williams’ motivation was related to news that he was being discharged from the military for mental health reasons. “Veteran Affairs notified Williams that he was eligible for monthly disability payments because of his mental illness diagnoses with included depression/anxiety, suicidal ideation and avoidant personality disorder,” the newspaper wrote. “Upon receiving these notifications, Patrick was upset that he had been deemed ‘defective’ by the military. These notifications served to worsen his depression and he began to formulate a (plan) to commit suicide.”
The Journal reported that Williams, upset by the news, used an old address to purchase an AK-47 rifle at Cabela’s, which violates federal law. According to the criminal complaint, Williams’ uncle said that after Williams moved out, they took his keys and the alarm code was changed; “Williams still had mail and medication delivered to the house, but no longer had access to the residence,” the document read.
Williams was declared competent to go through the proceedings and plead, according to court records, which stated, “Defendant William Patrick Williams is mentally competent to stand trial … and has a factual and rational understanding of the charges and proceedings against him …”
Williams was ultimately sentenced to two years in federal prison and the court judge suggested that he “be evaluated for civil commitment” before he is release. As a convicted felon, Williams would be legally prohibited from ever possessing another firearm.