Photograph by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.
Maryland police have arrested a man who called himself the "Joker" and threatened to use his cache of weapons to "blow everybody up" at his soon-to-be-former place of business, a move authorities said Friday likely prevented a mass shooting that could have been on par with last week's massacre in Aurora, Colo.
The Associated Press reports that Neil Prescott phoned in his threat earlier this week to Pitney Bowes, a software and mailroom supplier near Washington, D.C., from which he was apparently set to be fired (although it appears as though his actual employer may have been a subcontractor). "I am a joker and I'm gonna load my guns and blow everybody up," he said on the call, according to Prince George's County Police, who held a press conference Friday to discuss the arrest.
NBC Washington reports that Prescott made more than one call to a co-worker to issue his threats, one of which was recounted to the local affiliate of being to the effect of: "You don't know who the real joker is; I am the real joker." The reference to the "Joker" comes one week after suspected Colorado gunman James Holmes reportedly delivered a similar message to police after being arrested.
Police found the 28-year-old Prescott in his Crofton home Thursday wearing a shirt that read "Guns don’t kill people, I do." He had thousands of rounds of ammunition and 25-odd firearms, including semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and handguns, according to ABC News. Police said they believe Prescott was prepared to carry out his threatened attack and say they likely prevented a massacre.
Prescott is currently undergoing a psychological evaluation in Annapolis.