Friend says Maryland man held in shooting plot is 'gentle giant'

A friend says a Maryland man accused of threatening to shoot up his workplace is a "gentle giant" who collected weapons and had expressed concerns about break-ins near his apartment complex.

Mike Cochran tells The Associated Press on Saturday that he thinks his friend, Neil E. Prescott, did not intend for his comments to be taken seriously. Cochran says Prescott was known for having a sarcastic sense of humor.

Police say Prescott, who was in the process of being fired, told a supervisor this week that he was a "joker" and was going to load his guns and "blow everybody up." Prescott was taken into custody for an emergency psychiatric evaluation and has not been charged.

Cochran says Prescott was "no stranger to sarcasm regardless of political correctness."