Yesterday, 45-year-old parolee Byron Williams opened fire on Highway Patrol officers in Oakland, California. After a brief shootout, Williams, who was wearing body armor, was shot and is currently in an emergency room in stable condition at a local hospital.
In an interview with the local news, Williams explained that her son was unemployed, angry at “left-wing politicians,” and upset about Congress “railroading through all these left-wing agenda items.” Williams went on to say that she kept guns in her house which her son stole. She also warned of a coming “revolution”:
She said her son, who had been a carpenter and a cabinetmaker before his imprisonment, was angry about his unemployment and about “what’s happening to our country.” Williams watched the news on television and was upset by “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items,” his mother said. [...]
Janice Williams said she kept the guns because “eventually, I think we’re going to be caught up in a revolution.” But she said she had told her son many times that “he didn’t have to be on the front lines.”
ABC News 10 talked to Mrs. Williams and investigated the crime scene. She told the station that her son was “upset with the direction the country is going.” Watch it:
Earlier in the year, disgruntled software engineer Joe Stack used his plane to launch a suicide attack against an IRS building in Austin, Texas. Stack left behind a suicide note detailing his grievances against the government. Right-wing hate radio hosts and pundits have denied that their rhetoric is provoking violence against the government.
Given that Williams had already committed two felonies before the shooting, the San Francisco Weekly speculates that California’s Three Strikes law — which places criminals behind bars for life after their third felony — may have escalated the amount of violence Williams used. The Weekly writes that the law “might have led him to attempt to go out in a blaze of glory rather than face a lifetime in prison.”