LOS ANGELES — She spoke calmly and gave terse replies to a reporter's questions about her son, saying she had talked just briefly Monday with the boy's father, from whom she is divorced, and had heard only that there had been a shooting at Santana High School.
Linda Wells is the mother of Charles Andrew Williams, known as Andy, and she was contacted Monday at her home in North Augusta, S.C. She was well into a telephone conversation when she paused and asked, incredulous, "Wait, is he the shooter?"
Told that the police believed that her son had fired the shots at the high school, Wells burst into sobs.
She said Andy was a normal, good-natured teen who has lived with his father since their divorce about 10 years ago. She said her son was like most teenagers, obsessed with sports. She said that to her knowledge, he played most sports, including baseball, soccer and football.
"As one sport ended, he was right into the next," she said. "He's a little kid, sort of skinny, but he's tough."
(People who have spent time with Williams more recently said, however, that he did not participate in organized sports. Chris Reynolds, who coached a basketball team on which some friends of Williams played, said, "He would shoot hoops in the park next door or something, but he didn't do any sports teams here.") She said she did not know what the job was, adding only that her former husband was involved in animal care. Santee, where Andy lived with his father, is in eastern San Diego County and borders a rural area where there are many ranches.