Prosecutors say 'incel' planned mass shooting of sorority members on Ohio college campus

A federal grand jury has levied charges against a 21-year-old self-identified “incel” who prosecutors say attempted to carry out a mass shooting on Ohio college women in sororities. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio announced Wednesday that Tres Genco of Hillsboro, Ohio, was arrested by federal agents and now faces one count of attempting to commit a hate crime, as well as one count of illegally possessing a machine gun. 

Prosecutors said in court documents that Genco, who was kicked out of Army Basic Training last year, said he was an “incel,” or “involuntary celibate,” referring to an online community predominantly made up of white men who “advocate violence in support of their belief that women unjustly deny them sexual or romantic attention to which they believe they are entitled.” 

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The attorney’s office said that Genco in posts on a popular incel website detailed spraying “some foids and couples” with orange juice in a water gun, using the shortened term for “femoids,” referring to women. 

Genco allegedly explained that he was inspired by the actions of 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, who in May 2014 killed six people and injured 14 others, including individuals outside a University of California, Santa Barbara sorority house.

According to prosecutors, Genco wrote a manifesto detailing that he wanted to “slaughter” women “out of hatred, jealousy and revenge," and law enforcement also uncovered a note in which the 21-year-old said he hoped to “aim big” and kill 3,000 people. 

Investigators discovered during their investigation that Genco had searched online for sororities and a university in Ohio where he could potentially carry out an attack and that in 2019, he purchased tactical gloves, a bulletproof vest, two Glock 17 magazines and a 9mm Glock 17 clip, among other supplies. 

On Jan. 15, 2020, prosecutors allege that Genco conducted surveillance at an unnamed Ohio university, and that same day searched online for topics like “planning a shooting crime” and “when does preparing for a crime become an attempt?”

In March 2020, an informant informed the Highland County Sheriff’s Office that Genco was allegedly making threats and “locked himself out of his bedroom with a gun.” 

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Upon arriving at Genco’s home, police said they found a firearm with a bump stock attached, several loaded magazines, body armor and boxes of ammunition. 

Genco is set to appear in court on Friday for an initial hearing. It was not clear if he has an attorney representing him in the case. 

The man faces life in prison if found guilty of the hate crime charge, and up to 10 years for illegal possession of the machine gun. 

The incel community has attracted scrutiny in recent years, especially after the 2018 attack by a 25-year-old man who used his van to kill 10 pedestrians in Toronto. 

Alek Minassian, now 28, was found guilty in March of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.