An Ohio University spokesperson said Friday that there was “no known connection” to Ohio University in what federal investigators said was a plot by an “incel” to attack an unnamed Ohio university.
Tres Genco, 21, of Hillsboro, Ohio, allegedly plotted to commit a hate crime, namely, a plan to shoot students in sororities at a university in Ohio. He was arrested by federal agents Wednesday, a Department of Justice statement said. He also was arrested with illegal possession of a machine gun, the release said.
When the news of the arrest broke, some national media publications, including The Daily Beast, reported the target of an alleged thwarted plot by self-identified “incel” Genco to commit mass murder of women was Ohio University.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported the target was Ohio State University.
“Regarding this situation, there is no known connection to Ohio University at this time,” OU Spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said in a statement.
According to Genco’s Facebook, he made multiple posts in February and March 2020 indicating he was enrolled in Ohio University, including updating his education status and changing his cover photo to College Green. On Twitter, his bio said “Ohio university (sic).”
Leatherwood said Genco is not and never was enrolled as a student.
In a statement to The Athens NEWS, OUPD acknowledged they were aware of Genco’s social media posts where he appeared to claim to be a student.
“Despite his social media posts, there was no indication that Genco planned to target Ohio University,” the statement said. “Based on what is known at this time,we do not believe there is any additional risk to our campuses as a result of this case. OUPD will continue to monitor this case as it develops and take appropriate action within our community if our threat assessment changes.”
An incel, or “involuntary celibate,” is an online movement and community of predominantly men who harbor anger towards 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.
According to the indictment, Genco maintained profiles on a popular incel website from at least July 2019 through mid-March 2020. Genco was a frequent poster on the site.
In one post, Genco allegedly detailed spraying “some foids and couples” with orange juice in a water gun, documents say. “Foids” is an incel term short for “femoids,” referring to women.According to the charging document, Genco compared his “extremely empowering action” to similar conduct by known incel, Elliot Rodger.
In May 2014, Rodger killed six people and injured 14 others, including shooting individuals outside a University of California, Santa Barbara sorority house. Prior to his mass attack, Rodger shot a group of college students with orange juice from a water gun.
Genco also allegedly wrote a manifesto, stating he would “slaughter” women “out of hatred, jealousy and revenge…” and referring to death as the “great equalizer,” the Department of Justice release said.
As part of this investigation, law enforcement agents discovered a note of Genco’s that indicated he hoped to “aim big” for a kill count of 3,000 people and intended to attend military training.
Searches of Genco’s electronics revealed that the day he wrote his manifesto, he searched online for sororities and a university in Ohio.
It is alleged that in 2019, Genco purchased tactical gloves, a bulletproof vest, a hoodie bearing the word “revenge,” cargo pants, a bowie knife, a skull facemask, two Glock 17 magazines, a 9mm Glock 17 clip and a holster clip concealed carry for a Glock.
Indictment documentation states that Genco attended Army Basic Training at Ft. Benning, Georgia, from August through December 2019.
In January 2020, Genco allegedly wrote a document entitled “Isolated” that he described as “the writings of the deluded and homicidal.” Genco signed the document, “Your hopeful friend and murderer,” according to indictment documents.
The charging document claims Genco conducted surveillance at an unnamed Ohio university on Jan. 15, 2020. That same day, he allegedly searched online for topics including “how to plan a shooting crime” and “when does preparing for a crime become attempt?”
On March 12, 2020, local police officers responded to Genco’s residence in Highland County. At the residence, in the trunk of Genco’s vehicle, police officers found, among other things, a firearm with a bump stock attached, several loaded magazines, body armor and boxes of ammunition, prosecutors say.
Inside the residence, police officers found a Glock-style 9mm semiautomatic pistol, with no manufacturer’s marks or serial number, hidden in a heating vent in Genco’s bedroom.
Genco is charged with one count of attempting to commit a hate crime which, because it involved an attempt to kill, is punishable by up to life in prison and one count of illegally possessing a machine gun which is punishable by up to 10 years, the DoJ release said.
Vipal J. Patel, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Cincinnati Division; and Roland Herndon, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), announced the charges on Wednesday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Gaffney Painter and Assistant Deputy Criminal Chief Timothy S. Mangan are representing the United States in this case.