Maryland police said an Aurora-like mass shooting by a man characterizing himself as "a joker" was avoided this week authorities arrested the Prince George's County resident who had hoarded massive amounts of firearms.
28-year-old Neil E. Prescott, who surrendered quietly to police after they stormed his home at around 3:30 a.m. on Friday morning, had hoarded at least 25 guns and hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, PG County Police Chief Mark A. Magaw said.
Police were alerted to Prescott's possible violent behavior after the Pitney Bowes subcontractor made repeated threatening calls to his boss after being terminated from the document, mailing and shipping company.
In one of the threatening calls "I'm a joker, and I am going to load my guns and blow everybody up," Magaw confirmed. The threat, eerily similar to the ones made by Aurora, Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes, put police on alert.
Holmes, 24, was also quietly apprehended by police after he entered a midnight premier of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" in the Denver suburb of Aurora and fired multiple rounds from four guns strapped to his body.
Holmes appeared in court Monday sporting bright red hair akin to the Joker villain from the films. Overall, 12 people died and 58 were wounded in the Aurora shooting.
Surrounded by his guns, which included multiple semiautomatic weapons, the Maryland "joker" Prescott was wearing a shirt stating, "Guns Don't Kill People -- I do" when he was taken into custody.
PG County Police Department Spokesman Julie Parker characterized the event as a "thwarted terror threat." Magaw added, "We can't measure what we prevented here...We averted a significant...and violent episode."
Prescott was being held at a hospital immediately after his arrest, but Magaw could not confirm if he has a history of mental illness.
by RTT Staff Writer
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