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Possible Mass Shooting Averted in Maryland

Updated on July 29, 2012

Is There An Explanation To All This?

The threats were bad enough and cache of weapons seriously concerned police.
The threats were bad enough and cache of weapons seriously concerned police. | Source

Authorities think it may have been the result of losing his job that allegedly prompted Neil Prescott, 28, of Crofton, Maryland, to phone in threatening calls to his ex-employer, with Preston claiming to be a “joker,” and that he intended to “blow everybody up.”[1]

Law enforcement officials in Prince Georges County, Maryland, upon learning of the threats, were able to get Prescott committed for a psychiatric evaluation. When taken into custody, he was supposedly wearing a t-shirt that said “guns don’t kill people, I do.”

Frighteningly enough, police found that Prescott had a cache of 25 weapons and stocked up hundreds of ammunition.

Possible criminal charges are pending against Prescott.

Prescott worked for a subcontractor of Pitney-Bowes, a company that specializes in mail room software and equipment. No reason has been given for his alleged termination.

While many media outlets claim that Prescott intended to be a “copycat” of the recent horrific shootings at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, authorities are quick to note that other than references to the comic book villain, the “Joker,” there are no other similarities.[i]

They also claim, thankfully, that it is hard to know what kind of horrors could have been unleashed had Prescott followed through on his supposed threats.

The intervention of police to get Prescott into a psychiatric facility and removing his weapons should be recognized. It also should be noted that the anonymous person who reported these threats possibly saved many lives.

While authorities claim that is just one similarity to the killings in Aurora, Colorado, comparisons are inevitable and many wonder why there was no proactive mental health intervention there.

I hope the story of Neil Prescott highlights why it is so important in some mental health interventions for authorities to get involved. To date, Prescott has not been officially diagnosed with any form of mental illness.

Mental health experts know that the overwhelming majority of persons battling various types of mental illness are not violent.

Still, all it takes is one person-and their access to weaponry to turn that assertion on its ear.


Were Police Effective In This Case?

Could Their Actions Have Saved Lives?

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