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Austin man accused of threatening to shoot up Las Vegas hospital

Austin police said there were 16 incidents in which local officials were contacted over the same suspect, including one where he was dressed like the Joker.

AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin man has been arrested after he reportedly called a Las Vegas hospital last month to make threats of a mass shooting.

According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, suspect Nicholas Encinias called Spring Valley Hospital on Aug. 30 saying he would be coming into town the following week to "shoot up" the hospital and that other hospitals were not safe. 

An officer eventually made contact with Encinias, 33, who stated that he is taking medication that makes him feel funny and causes him to have weird thoughts. Investigators said he told them he lives in Texas but frequents Nevada often.

On Aug. 31, police called the phone number used to call the hospital but it went to voicemail, however, the voicemail recording said, "This is Nick, leave a message." An adult male later called police back and identified himself as Nicholas Duran, which police eventually determined was his mother's maiden name, and he stated that he did call the hospital. 

Police reported that the man admitted to making threats to the hospital, saying he planned to show up in military fatigues with a machine gun to "come and shoot them all." Documents state that he was upset with the hospital because they did not help him when he stayed there in the past.

In the police report, officials state that Encinias stated he feels the need to shoot large amounts of people at times because of his mental illnesses – psychosis and bipolar disorder. When asked if he felt this way during the phone call, police said he told them, "Not at this moment but maybe later." 

Police said the suspect told them he is seeking help because he doesn't want to have to kill a lot of people, and that he does not want his six-year-old daughter – who he said lives in another state – to live with that for the rest of her life.

Credit: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

At the time of the call, Encinias reported that he was on his way to Aurora, Colorado, and that he travels across the country. He also reportedly bragged about being investigated by the Secret Service and the FBI for making threats. When asked if he has to travel for work, the man declined and said he's actually traveling because he cannot stay in one place. If he does so, police said he told them he felt like he might hurt somebody.

When asking for more details about his location, police said Encinias tried to change the subject and told them his phone was about to die. He said he would call back later once it was charged.

At this point, police issued an emergency pen on his phone number to determine his location, which was discovered to be Austin. A records check then discovered the same man was involved in multiple incidents throughout the country involving mass shooting threats.

The most recent threats involved 16 incidents in Austin specifically. About two weeks prior, police said he was walking around town with his faced painted to look like the Joker from Batman. He was taken into custody with an Airsoft pistol sticking out of his backpack.

Police reported that, in this incident, he began rocking back and forth while in custody and he told them he was practicing for a larger incident. The Austin Police Department reported to Las Vegas officials that the man is well known for making similar threats and walking in the streets in full military fatigues. He reportedly stated that the only reason he hasn't committed a mass shooting yet is that he can't afford a firearm.

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Officials said they were also investigating a social post allegedly made by the man, which stated "Anyone got a sniper rifle for sale?" and, "I hope Austin is ready for a spray led from above. F--- these people, I've had it."

Upon speaking with the Las Vegas nurse who took his call, police learned the man allegedly stated he was calling from Texas and that he lived in Las Vegas a year ago. He told her that he was admitted to their hospital and that he was treated poorly. The man then said he was coming a week later to visit his sister and that he would be getting a machine gun to shoot at this hospital and two others. According to police, he said "a lot of people are going to die when he returns."

A Texas DPS agent then conducted a welfare check on the man, who told the agent he admitted to making the Las Vegas threat. They also discussed an Aug. 25 incident in which he allegedly made a threat against the Texas Capitol and a female victim. 

Online records indicate the man remains in Clark County, Nevada, custody with a $500,000 bond. He was arrested on Saturday, Sept. 15, under charges of making a terroristic threat. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30. 

RELATED: Texas governor issues 8 executive orders in response to El Paso, Odessa shootings

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