Authorities in Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties have foiled what they believe would have been a mass shooting by a man who was about to be fired from his job, police sources tell ABC 7 News.
Law enforcement sources tell ABC 7's Brad Bell that the suspect, Neil Prescott, 28, was taken into custody in Crofton on Thursday night. According to officials, the man was facing termination from his job as a subcontractor for Pitney Bowes, the document, mailing and shipping company.
“I am a joker and I’m gonna load my guns and blow everybody up,” he allegedly said, according to documents.
He was also wearing a T-Shirt that said: "Guns don't kill people. I do," when authorities took him into custody. Prescott is being held for a psychiatric evaluation and charges are pending.
"We can't measure what we prevented here," Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw said. "We averted a significant...and violent episode."
Prescott is being held for a mental evaluation at a hospital.
Investigators say a search of Prescott's home turned up more than 20 guns, including assault rifles and handguns, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. He had a Maryland state gun collector's permit. The guns appear to be collected legally, authorities say.
Law enforcement sources say the suspect allegedly called a former co-worker and threatened that he wanted to shoot his former boss. He went so far as to say he wanted to see his supervisor's brains "splattered all over the sidewalk," according to court documents.
The threats were made on multiple times on separate phone calls, police say. Prescott even acknowledged that it wasn’t a good idea to say these things but said them anyway, police say.
Another law enforcement source says the suspect was prepared to act on his threat. Pitney Bowes' Maryland offices are located in Lanham.
Neighbors at the suspect's apartment complex didn't know Prescott and were only just learning of his alleged threat to shot his former boss and work place.
Pitney Bowes Inc. released the following statement: The suspect arrested is an employee of a subcontractor to Pitney Bowes. At Pitney Bowes we have clear security protocol and when we had concerns about this individual, we contacted authorities.
A law enforcement source told ABC 7 that they believe the foiled shooting "could have been another Aurora," making reference to the mass shooting that happened last Friday in suburban Denver.
On July 20, a man shot more than 70 people inside an Aurora, Colo. movie theater during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. The accused shooter, James Holmes, will be formally charged in connection with the shooting next week.
ABC 7's Brad Bell and Kris Van Cleave contributed to this story. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.