18-year-old Nichole Cevario detailed her plans to launch a Columbine-style massacre of herself and her high school classmates in a journal.
18-year-old Nichole Cevario detailed her plans to launch a Columbine-style massacre of herself and her high school classmates in a journal. The student had been plotting to bomb Catoctin High School in Frederick County, Maryland, and shoot her fellow students and teachers, police say. Luckily, the girl’s intentions were halted by her parents after her father found her journal and reported it to law enforcement.
Readers of the diary discovered Cevario had been purposefully collecting data on the school’s emergency procedures for some time. She had even interviewed a school resource officer about how the school responds to shooting incidents. Cevario, an honors student, was taking college classes in criminal justice, so her requests didn’t seem out of the ordinary.
Once they became aware of Cevario’s intentions to massacre everyone at the school, officers searched the family’s home and discovered a loaded 12-gauge shotgun along with all of the materials needed to create pipe bombs — pipes, shrapnel, fireworks, magnesium, tape and fuse matter. The gun and other items were purchased legally, according to police. Responding officers had no doubt the girl would have carried out her sinister plan without thinking twice, and her careful planning could have ensured each step was executed without a hitch. It was not clear whether that date of April 5th had any significance to Cevario. “There’s no doubt in our minds that we averted disaster there,” Jenkins stated.
Police handcuffed the girl at her school on Thursday and took her to a local mental hospital without incident. They haven’t found anyone else that could have conspired with her to plot the massacre, and believe she had no co-conspirators. She will remain in the hospital for the time being to complete a psychological evaluation. Police say Cevario suffers from mental health issues. “Obviously, this was a student who needed some intervention and some help, and I think the silver lining is she’s going to get the help she needs now,” Frederick County Public Schools spokesman Michael Doerrer said.
There is currently a warrant for Cevario’s arrest on charges of possession of explosive and incendiary material with the intent to create a destructive device. If convicted, Cevario could face up to 25 years in prison for her crimes. “Right now, this investigation is very much focused on her diary and the detail in her diary that clearly planned out a mass shooting at her high school,” Jenkins explained. “The Sheriff’s Office is extremely appreciative of the parent’s actions in bringing this potentially deadly incident to the proper authority’s attention, promptly, so that a positive conclusion could be achieved.”
“We keep our school safe, and we will continue to work together as a community to keep it safe,” Principal Bernie Quesada said, reassuringly, in a formal letter.