Police in Maryland say they have foiled another possible "Joker" massacre. According to the police, a man who called himself "a joker," phoned in a threat to his former employer, saying he was going to "shoot the place up."
The man has been identified in media reports as Neil Edwin Prescott, but The Huffington Post reports police would not confirm his name.
According to NBC 4, police say Neil Prescott of Crofton, Maryland, told the supervisor at Pitney Bowes, a software and mailroom supplier, "I'm a joker and I'm gonna load my guns and blow everybody up." According to the police, Prescott said he wanted to see the supervisor's "brain splatter on the floor."
Police say Prescott made the threat several times in separate phone calls. When investigators searched his apartment, they found several thousand rounds of ammunition and about two dozen semi-automatic rifles and pistols, the Daily Mail reports. According to NBC 4, officials say police database show Prescott had 13 guns. Firearms found in his home include three 9mm handguns, a .357 revolver and several other rifles and shotguns.
ABC 7 reports a search of his home turned up more than 20 guns that included assault rifles and handguns, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. According to ABC 7, Prescott had a Maryland state gun collector's permit and the guns appear to have been collected legally.
Police say when they confronted Prescott in his apartment in Crofton near Annapolis, he was groggy and wearing a T-shirt that said: "Guns don't kill people. I do."
Prescott is receiving emergency mental health evaluation at a hospital and charges are pending.
ABC7 reports police sources say the latest case "could have been another Aurora."
Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw, said: "We can't measure what was prevented here, but what was going on over the last 36 hours was a significant incident in the county. And we think a violent episode was avoided."
While it remains unclear how serious the threats were meant to be taken, police are taking no chances a week after the tragic Aurora shooting that left 12 dead and 58 wounded.
The Huffiington Post reports Prince George's County Police Deputy Chief Hank Stawinski, said in a press conference, "If you call a loved one, if you call anybody and you threaten to do harm, kill people, we're going to believe you, and we did."
Magaw also said: "In light of what happened a week ago in Aurora, Colorado, it's important to know, (for) the community to know, that we take all threats seriously. And if you're going to make a threat, we will take action."
Although, there are no indications of any link between the latest incident and the Aurora shooting, Prescott's "joker" comments were a reference to the Aurora killings, police say.
The Daily Mail reports Wilbert Brinson, a neighbor of Prescott, who said he does not know him, described the incident was alarming. He said: "It's an awakening, you know, after hearing what happened in Colorado."
The Huffington Post reports a web search for Neil Prescott, revealed a profile on mdshooters.com that appears linked to Prescott. The website is for gun enthusiasts. Prescott, using the online identity slog403, exchanged information with other users about obtaining firearms.
In a July 18 post, following a conversation about how to acquire a 30-round magazine, he said he wanted to "unleash 30 rounds of hell" and added a smiley face emoticon. It wasn't clear what he meant.
The Daily Mail also reports there are several postings on gun forums believed to have been made by Prescott. His most recent posting, according to the Daily Mail, included a picture of a gun he uploaded online on July 27, with the comment, "Check out the new Nightforce for my target pistol. j/k these are for my SCAR and possible other future purchase."
Carol Wallace, spokeswoman for Pitney Bowes, issued the following statement:
"The suspect... is an employee of a subcontractor to Pitney Bowes. At Pitney Bowes we have clear security protocol and when we had concerns about this individual, we contacted authorities."