Md. man found with arsenal after alleged threat
An arsenal of semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic pistols seized from a man who allegedly threatened to carry out a mass shooting at his workplace is seen in this picture provided by the Prince George's County Police Department. / Prince George's County Police Department
Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET
(CBS/AP) A Maryland man in possession of 25 guns and several thousand rounds of ammunition was taken into custody Thursday night after referring to himself as "a joker" and allegedly making threats to carry out a mass shooting at his workplace, which he had recently been fired.
The man, identified as Neil Prescott in a search warrent and by sources to CBS News, allegedly told a supervisor at software and mailroom supplier Pitney Bowes that, "I'm a joker and I'm gonna load my guns and blow everybody up," and that he wanted to see the supervisor's "brain splatter on the floor" during a phone call on Monday, according to a search warrant. Police would not confirm the suspect's name because charges are pending.
He then made similar statements during another call 15 minutes later, adding that it was "kind of foolish of me to say this kind of things over government phone," the warrant states.
He was wearing a T-shirt that read "Guns don't kill people. I do," when first confronted by officers, police said Friday. He allegedly made multiple threats during several separate phone calls this week. Investigators who searched the 28-year-old's apartment Friday morning found about two dozen firearms -- including semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic pistols -- and several thousand rounds of ammunition.
There is no immediate indication any of the weapons were possessed or obtained illegally but police are still processing the evidence, law enforcement sources told CBS News national security correspondent Bob Orr.
"What we believe is a significant threat has been averted," Magaw said.
In a statement, Pitney Bowes Inc. said the man worked for a subcontractor to the company.
The suspect is not connected to any foreign or domestic terror group and there does not appear to be any specific plot connected to his phone threat, sources said.
An FBI spokesman said the bureau is aware of the case, but otherwise is not involved.
It wasn't immediately clear when the threat was to be carried out or how seriously it was meant to be taken, but last week's mass shooting at a Colorado theater during the latest Batman movie -- coupled with the "Joker" reference -- put police especially on edge and gave the comments extra urgency, officials said.
"In light of what happened a week ago in Aurora Colo., 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," Magaw said.
Though there's no other indication of a link to the Colorado shooting, police believe the joker comments made by Prescott were a "clear reference" to the killings, according to the warrant.
Neighbor Wilbert Brinson, who lives in a building across from Prescott's but did not know him, said he was alarmed by the alleged threats.
"It's an awakening, you know, after hearing what happened in Colorado," he said.
It was not immediately clear if Prescott had a lawyer.
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