FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Officials in Fort Worth say a possible copycat shooter, wanting to emulate what happened recently in the Midland-Odessa area, was stopped thanks to a phone call from his father.
According to investigators, a man called Fort Worth police concerned about his 27-year-old son. The caller said his son had withdrawn money from the bank and said he was going to by guns. Fortunately several businesses turned him away because he didn’t pass the background check.
When police were able to locate the man near the Will Rogers Memorial Center on September 3 they say he still had the money.
“The individual had withdrawn several hundred dollars, I think it was between $600 and $700, in an effort to go purchase an assault rifle,” explained Interim Fort worth Police Chief Ed Kraus. “He freely admitted to our officers that that was his intent… that he was going to perform a copycat shooting spree like what occurred in Midland and Odessa.”
Police say once in custody the man, who has not been identified, told them since he couldn’t get a weapon from a retailer he had set out to buy a gun off the street.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Prices said, “He had been denied… because he couldn’t pass his background check, so he was looking for a private sale.”
The man, who had had previous interactions with police and was known to have mental health issues, also allegedly made several statements to officers indicating that his intent was to “kill as many” people as he could.
Chief Kraus says the refusal of merchants to sell the man a gun and the phone call placed by his father prevented a potential mass shooting in the city.
The man is now at a local clinic receiving mental health treatment.