FREDERICK COUNTY, Maryland (NBC News) A high school senior’s plan to carry out a mass shooting at Maryland’s Catoctin High School unraveled Monday after her father read her diary and called school authorities.
“We averted a catastrophe,” said Frederick County Sheriff Charles Jenkins.
Investigators say the diary of 18-year-old Nichole Cevario detailed a well-developed plan to carry out the attack, with a set date of April 5th.
“You can see the actual escalations, the frustrations, the planning, putting it together, and how she was going to pull it off,” Sheriff Jenkins said.
The teen’s writings referenced the Columbine and Newtown school shootings, focusing on mistakes she thought the gunmen had made in those cases.
Inside her home investigators found a shotgun, ammunition and stockpiles of fireworks, shrapnel, and fuses.
Her father, who read her dairy after noting a change in the teen’s behavior and finding shotgun shells in her back pack, is now being praised for making the tough decision to turn his daughter in.
Cevario was immediately taken out of class and sent to a hospital for a mental evaluation.
Investigators don’t believe anyone was working with Cevario and they think they’ve eliminated any threat to the school and community, officials said. While explosive materials were located during the investigation, they weren’t combined in any form that created an explosive device.
Investigators have obtained an arrest warrant charging Cevario with possession of explosive material with intent to create a destructive device and possession of incendiary material with the intent to create a destructive device. They say the warrants will be served when she is released from the hospital.
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