CROFTON, Md. (WJZ) — An Anne Arundel County man accused of plotting a workplace shooting continues a mental evaluation. His friends are coming to his defense and we’re learning more about his background. Adam May has more.
Friends of the suspect are in shock. They say threatening comments were taken out of context but police stand by the allegations.
It could be days until Neil Prescott is officially charged. For now, he’s undergoing a mental evaluation and is accused of threatening to kill his coworkers at a shipping and software company in Prince George’s County last week.
“In fact, he said, `I’m a joker and I’m gonna load my guns and blow everybody up,'” said Chief Mark Magaw.
That possible reference to the Colorado movie massacre alarmed authorities—but not some of Prescott’s friends.
“I grow concerned that people are reacting to some of the harsher terms being used to describe Neil, such as `terrorist.’ If anything, Neil was always known as more of a `gentle giant’ or `iron teddy bear,'” said Charlie Jake.
WJZ has learned Prescott had an interest in computer security and network vulnerabilities. It’s unknown if he performed any work for the government.
“I cannot think of any single incident in which Neil appeared angry or upset or even raised his voice,” said Jake.
Friends also say Prescott was an avid gun collector. Police found two dozen weapons when he was arrested. He was also wearing a shirt that read, “Guns don’t kill people. I do.”
“I believe thwarted some serious violence that could have happened and I think potentially saved lives,” said Anne Arundel County Police Chief James Teare.
Prescott made numerous postings on the website mdshooters.com. In one comment two weeks ago, he stated, “I wish to unleash 30 rounds of hell.”
In a search of Prescott’s apartment, police did not find any detailed plans for the shooting. Prosecutors are considering both state and federal charges.