Officials: Frederick County 19-year-old planned for “committing a mass shooting and/or mass casualty event”


Weapons and explosive devices were found in a house connected with the suspect, officials say

UPDATE 2 p.m.: According to charging documents, detectives discovered multiple weapons and explosive materials were found while executing a search and seizure warrant against 19-year-old Eckenrode.

Officials detectives have reason to believe that 19-year-old Eckenrode manufactured and possessed destructive devices that have the potential to seriously injure or kill someone.

Through further investigation, detectives located two explosive devices in 19-year-old Eckenrode’s room along with a note addressed to his mom, sister, and dad that included an apology for “having to go out this way.” Detectives were able to gather that 19-year-old Eckenrode devised a plan for “committing a mass shooting and/or mass casualty event,” officials say.

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — A 19-year-old from Thurmont is charged in the death of a Frederick teenager who was reported missing, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday morning.  

Joshua David Eckenrode is charged with first-degree murder and firearm use in a violent crime, officials say.  

Curtis Mason Smith, 19

Monday evening, a day after the body of Curtis Mason Smith was found in a vehicle, search and seizure warrants were executed on two residences associated with Eckenrode. Deputies reportedly found multiple weapons including an AR-15 assault rifle and explosive materials.  

The Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal Bomb Squad and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted in rendering the explosives safe.  

Eckenrode was initially held on charges of possession of destructive devices, possession of a firearm, and possession of explosives without a license. Through multiple witness interviews and further investigation, officials say, enough evidence was obtained for the first-degree murder charge and firearm use in a violent crime charge. 

Officials did not say how they developed Eckenrode as a suspect, and no motive was given for the killing.

An investigation is ongoing and no further information is available.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the FCSO tip line at 301-600-4131 and reference case #21-025637. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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