Mother, son caught with guns at Cuyahoga County Justice Center claim they were for protection

Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 10:23 PM EDT
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CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A mother and son were busted trying to smuggle guns into the Cuyahoga County Justice Center on Wednesday morning.

47-year-old Andrea Williams and her son 21-year-old Lanell Williams were both charged with carrying a concealed weapon and illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon in a courthouse.

19 News wanted to know why anyone would try bringing firearms into a courthouse. The mother and son told the sheriff the guns were for protection. The mother claimed she was worried someone was stalking her. They said they came to the courthouse to get a protection order against that person.

19 News obtained surveillance video from Cuyahoga County that captured the moments the pair arrived at the Justice Center.

Andrea was wearing a red Adidas hat and her son, Lanell, was wearing a navy-blue zip-up. The mom was carrying several bags and her son was holding a large duffle bag.

19 News sped up the video for time purposes.

Deputies said the mother appeared visibly nervous.

Andrea went through the metal detector first but kept setting it off. So, she went back to empty her pockets, take off her jacket, and eventually her baseball cap. Investigators believe Andrea was purposely trying to distract the deputies so her son could get the guns through the X-ray machine.

Lanell then set off the metal detector, so deputies searched his bag and made a shocking discovery. They found two firearms, a pistol, and a handgun, one with an extended magazine and over 100 rounds of ammunition.

Andrea went through the metal detector at least 10 times as we could see in the surveillance video. Deputies didn’t find any guns on her.

The sheriff’s office said they did contact the Joint Terrorism Task Force out of an abundance of caution just to make sure this wasn’t a coordinated attack.

19 News learned that deputies have confiscated seven firearms at the Justice Center in the past year.

Both the mother and son will be arraigned Monday morning.