Reporting Meghan McCorkell
CROFTON, Md. (WJZ)– A Maryland man calling himself “a joker” is found with an arsenal of weapons after police say he threatened to shoot up his workplace.
WJZ continues to bring you extensive coverage of this thwarted terror threat.
Meghan McCorkell is closely following the police investigation.
Early Friday morning, SWAT teams gathered outside a Crofton apartment complex. What they found inside was a surprise even to them.
Behind the doors, police say they found an arsenal of weapons. The guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition inside the apartment of 28-year-old Neil Edwin Prescott.
“We take all threats seriously. And if you’re going to make a threat, we will take action,” Chief Mark Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department said.
Police say Prescott made threatening phone calls to his supervisor at Pitney Bowes in Prince George’s County telling his boss, “I am a joker. I’m gonna load my guns and blow everybody up.”
The Batman reference set off alarm bells for police following the recent theater massacre in Colorado.
After the phone call, police came to Prescott’s apartment to talk to him. They say he answered the door in a very disturbing t-shirt.
“The individual was wearing a t-shirt that said, ‘Guns don’t kill people, I do’,” Deputy Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department said.
Early Friday morning, the SWAT team served a search warrant at Prescott’s apartment. His neighbors were evacuated. Inside they found 25 weapons, including semi-automatic rifles and pistols.
“I think we were surprised by the amount of types of weapons he had inside that apartment,” Major Edward Bergin of the Anne Arundel County Police Department said.
WJZ has learned Prescott was in the process of being fired from his job as a subcontractor at Pitney Bowes when he threatened the mass shooting.
“I believe [we] thwarted some serious violence that could have happened, and I think, potentially saved lives,” Chief James Teare of the Anne Arundel County Police Department said.
Prescott was taken into the custody without incident.
Police say they are considering both state and federal charges against Prescott. He has been taken to the hospital and is currently under psychiatric evaluation.
The only other brush with the law WJZ found on Prescott is a speeding ticket.
Click here to view the search warrant.
News of this apparent plot to kill stuns Crofton neighbors of Neil Prescott.
Jessica Kartalija has reaction from people who lived near the suspect.
The apartment complex is an upscale one with a lot of younger families and young professionals who commute to Washington D.C. There are about 500 people in the complex.
Many people WJZ talked to said they are shocked and saddened that this is their neighbor.
“Nobody’s safe. I mean, I was probably safer in Vietnam,” Robert Wagner said.
Wagner has lived in the Crofton neighborhood for 30 years.
“This close to home, it kind of shatters you,” he said.
This after parts of the nearby Keswick apartment complex are evacuated when police discover a cache of weapons inside the suspect’s home.
“It’s crazy,” said Roselyn Wardick. “It lets me know that it can happen anywhere. You’re never that safe.”
“Keep my doors locked for sure,” Bill Stevens said.
Stevens is a retired Washington D.C. police officer.
“This situation that you come across, you don’t know if it’s real or how to take it. So you have to see caution in it,” he said. “Think of it as a viable threat.”
“And there’s a lot of kids in the neighborhood too,” Stevens said. “And that’s definitely a concern. Kids can get something flying through the air, shooting up. They don’t care what they’re shooting at.”
Neighbors say they are glad that the entire plot was foiled.