Self-described 'incel' charged after plotting to commit mass shooting of women at Ohio university

Tres Genco.
Tres Genco. Photo credit: Highland County Sheriff's Office

A self-described "incel" has been arrested and charged in the midwestern state of Ohio after allegedly plotting to commit a mass shooting at a local university, specifically to "slaughter" women.

A federal grand jury on Wednesday (local time) charged Tres Genco, 21, with one count of attempting to commit a hate crime and one count of illegally possessing a machine gun.

The 21-year-old, who is from the small city of Hillsboro, allegedly conspired to commit a hate crime by planning a mass shooting of women at a local university. 

Genco identified as an "incel" or "involuntary celibate" - a member of an online community or subculture, predominantly consisting of men, who consider themselves unable to attract a romantic or sexual partner, despite desiring one. Incels are typically associated with harbouring anger and hostile views towards women due to their belief that the opposite sex unjustly denies them the sexual or romantic attention they are entitled to. Incels may also advocate for violence against women - and sometimes other men who are sexually active - to support their 'plight'.

According to the indictment, Genco had profiles on a popular website for incels from at least July 2019 through to mid-March 2020 and frequent posted on the site.

In one post, Genco allegedly detailed spraying "some foids and couples" with orange juice in a water gun. 'Foids', short for 'femoids', is a term used by incels to refer to women. 

According to the charging document, Genco compared his "extremely empowering action" to acts committed by Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old perpetrator of the Isla Vista massacre in May 2014. Rodger, a known incel, killed six people and injured 14 others - by gunshot, stabbing and vehicle-ramming - during his rampage near the University of California campus. Two years before his attack, Rodger also had sprayed a group with orange juice using a water gun.

Genco also allegedly wrote a manifesto, in which he stated that he would "slaughter" women "out of hatred, jealousy and revenge". Federal agents also discovered a note allegedly written by Genco that expressed his desire to undertake military training and "aim big" by killing 3000 people, alongside a reference to the date of Elliot Rodger's attack, May 23. Genco did attend Army Basic Training from August to December in 2019.

The investigation also found that on the day Genco wrote his manifesto, he searched online for a local university and sororities - societies for female university students.

Investigators allege that in 2019, Genco purchased tactical gloves, a bulletproof vest, a hoodie emblazoned with the word 'Revenge', cargo pants, a bowie knife, a skull face-mask, two Glock 17 magazines, a 9mm Glock 17 clip, and a holster clip concealed carry for a Glock, according to reports.

In January 2020, Genco allegedly wrote another document, titled 'isolated', which he described as "the writings of the deluded and homicidal". 

The indictment alleges that on January 15, 2020, Genco scouted an Ohio university and searched "planning a shooting crime" and "when does preparing for a crime become an attempt?" online.

On March 12, 2020, Highland County sheriff's deputies went to Genco's place of residence and discovered a firearm with a bump stock attached, several loaded magazines, body armour and boxes of ammunition inside his car's boot, among other items. Inside his home, police officers found a modified Glock-style 9mm semiautomatic pistol, with no manufacturer's marks or serial number, hidden in a heating vent in his bedroom.

If Genco is found guilty of attempting to commit a hate crime, he may face life behind bars. Possessing a machine gun is punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment.