A grandmother prevented a mass shooting by noticing the red flags and getting her grandson help
via Lubbock County Jail

Given the sheer number of mass shootings that have happened since the assault weapons ban ended in 2004, Americans are starting to notice when someone exhibits behaviors that could lead to committing an act of horrific violence.

According to FBI statistics, mass shooters exhibit an average of 4.7 examples of "concerning behavior" before their attacks. These include: mental health issues, interpersonal problems, suicidal ideation, discussing an attack, poor work performance, threats or confrontations.


Mass shooters also had, on average, 3.6 stressors, which include: mental health, financial strain, job-related problems, conflicts with friends/peers, mental problems, and drug/alcohol abuse.

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A grandmother in Lubbock, Texas noticed her grandson, 19-year-old William Patrick Williams, was exhibiting signs of committing a horrific massacre and averted the tragedy by getting him help.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of Texas, in July, Williams told his grandmother he had purchased an AK-47 and planned to "shoot up" a hotel and then take his own life.

After hearing Williams' plans, his grandmother convinced him to go to the hospital to get mental help.

AK-47via brian.ch / Flickr

While Williams was in treatment, police searched his hotel room and found an AK-47, 17 magazines, multiple knives, a black shirt that said "Let 'Em Come," and a black trench coat.

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It was later discovered that Williams allegedly lied on the paperwork he filled out to purchase the weapon. He was arrested on Thursday, August 1 by the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the FBI for making false statements to a firearms dealer. He could face up to five years in prison.

"This was a tragedy averted," U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox told NBC News. "I want to praise the defendant's grandmother, who saved lives by interrupting this plot."

Williams' grandmother saved countless lives, including that of her grandson, by seeing the warning signs and taking action.

While lawmakers fail to pass common sense gun laws that can reduce the number of mass shootings, the best way we can prevent these tragedies is to be vigilant like Williams grandmother — know the red flags and if you see something, say something.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."