Police in Maryland said on Thursday that they thwarted a “violent episode” after a man made threatening phone calls to his employer.
The suspect, identified as Neil Prescott, called his employer on Monday, describing himself as a “joker,” in an apparent reference to the Colorado movie massacre last week.
Prince George’s County Police Chief, Mark Magaw told reporters, “he made significant threats to coming back and harming people at the business. In fact he said, ‘I’m a joker and I’m going to load my guns and blow everyone up.’ That initiated a 36-hour investigation that culminated this morning.”
The announcement came a week after the deadly shooting in Aurora, Colorado in which a gunman opened fire at a midnight screening of the latest Batman film, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.
“In light of what happened a week ago in Aurora, Colorado, it’s important to know, the community to know, that we take all threats seriously. And if you’re going to make a threat, we will take action,” Magaw said.
Prescott was taken into custody on Friday morning after a pre-dawn raid of his apartment discovered a large cache of firearms.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Agent Ashan Benedict said, “we had several agents out there right on the scene. They evaluated the evidence, the recovered approximately 25 firearms, several thousand rounds of ammunition. The firearms are further described as semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic pistols.”
So far, Prescott has not been formally arrested. He was taken into custody on the grounds of an emergency medical petition and has been undergoing a court-ordered mental evaluation.