A female high school student was planning to bomb her own school in Frederick County, Maryland, as well as to shoot people, police say.
Nichole Cevario, 18, gathered bomb-making materials and possessed a shotgun to attack Catoctin High School April 5, according to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
“[S]he had the means and equipment to have caused a significant life safety event at Catoctin High School if she had followed through with the threat,” police said in a statement.
Cevario, an honor student, was pulled out of class on Thursday and taken to a hospital for evaluation.
The police first began looking into Cevario after her father notified the school on Thursday, school officials said.
UPDATE 3/31: Nichole Cevario has been released from hospital and has been arrested.
— Laura Levitt (@Laura_Levitt) March 31, 2017
Police then searched the family’s home in Thurmont, Maryland where they found weapons and a journal. Police say they found a shotgun with ammunition and bomb-making materials including magnesium tape, pipes with end caps, fireworks, shrapnel, and fuse material.
Cevario reportedly used the journal to write down her plan, with police saying she “spelled out a detailed shooting event that she planned to execute on a specific date in April.”
The journal included Cevario’s planned attack, information on the school’s emergency protocols, and the school resource deputy on duty.
“The journal was very detailed, including a time line that revealed how she was going to execute the plot, and her expectations at each stage of the event,” police said.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, to be honest with you,” Frederick County Sheriff Charles Jenkins said. “It shocks the conscious to see someone of that age could be thinking like that.”
Officers believed her father’s tip may have saved many lives.
“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,” the statement said. “I truly believe what they did averted a catastrophe at Catoctin High School, and they continue right now to be extremely cooperative,” Jenkins said. His opinion was only bolstered after police went through Cevario’s diary.
“I feel, based on what I read and what my investigator concluded, we thought this was going to be carried out. There’s no doubt in our minds that we averted a disaster up there,” Jenkins said.
Superintendent Terry Alban recorded a message about school safety that was later posted to YouTube.
Who Is Nichole Cevario?
Nichole Cevario is an 18-year-old student at Catoctin High School in Maryland. She planned to set off a bomb at the school and shoot classmates and faculty with a shotgun. Police say that it was clear she had mental health issues.
Officials say she acted alone and once she is released from the hospital, she will be charged with possession of explosive and incendiary material with intent to create a destructive device.
— Jeremy Arias (@Jarias_Prime) March 27, 2017
— Lowell Melser (@MelserWBAL) March 27, 2017
“We had no prior indication before we got a warning from a parent,” Michael Dorrer, a Frederick County Public Schools official, said of the potential danger Cevario represented. “This is a great example of how communities come together with trusting relationships, open communication, to keep our schools safe, and that’s exactly what happened here.”