Investigators say Tres Genco intended to kill as many as 3,000 people, specifically sorority girls at an unnamed Ohio university. The 21-year-old never got beyond the planning stage, say federal law enforcement officials who arrested the Ohio man—a self-identified "incel," or "involuntary celibate"—Wednesday. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the hate crime he was charged with: attempting to conduct a mass shooting of women. He was also charged with illegally possessing a machine gun. More:
- Incel. A Justice Department press release alleges Genco regularly posted on a popular incel website from July 2019 through March 2020 at a minimum. It defines the incel movement an online community of mostly men who are angry with women and "seek to commit violence in support of their belief that women unjustly deny them sexual or romantic attention to which they believe they are entitled."
- His alleged writings. The Washington Post reports Genco was booted from Army basic training in December 2019 and allegedly subsequently penned a letter that states in part: "If you’re reading this, I've done something horrible. Somehow you’ve come across the writings of the deluded and homicidal." It was signed, "Your hopeful friend and murderer."
- Alleged next steps. Cleveland.com reports that within days of writing the January 2020 letter, Genco allegedly began surveilling a university it identifies as Ohio State University; his online searches at the time allegedly included "planning a shooting crime" and "when does preparing for a crime become an attempt."
- Other writings. Genco allegedly wrote in praise of 2014 gunman Elliot Rodger, stating he once shot at some women with a water gun filled with orange juice; Rodger did the same (though not specifically at women) before his mass shooting. "Felt like I spiritually connected to the saint on that day," Genco allegedly posted online. "I suggest it to all incels, extremely empowering action."
- His initial arrest. NPR reports Genco came to police attention on March 12, 2020, via an anonymous call to the Highland County Sheriff's Office. The caller said Genco had locked himself in his Hillsboro bedroom, was issuing threats, and had cocked a gun. Police responded, and per court documents, a search of his car turned up a firearm with a bump stock attached, loaded magazines, body armor, and boxes of ammunition. A Glock-style 9mm semiautomatic pistol bearing no serial number was found in a heating vent in Genco’s bedroom.
- Serving time for that crime. Cleveland.com reports Genco pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree felony charge of making a terroristic threat and was sentenced to 17 months in prison. He is currently in the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, state prison records say. Genco on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to the new charges in US District Court in Columbus. His next court date is Friday.
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