Teen girl’s diary reveals school shooting plans

The diary of a teenage girl suspected of planning a mass shooting at her high school kept a diary suggesting she was serious about following through. 

As Crime Online previously reported, Nichole Cevario’s father alerted police on March 23 that there was a “potential threat of violence toward the school” after he found an arsenal of explosives in their Thurmont, Maryland, home.

According to ABC News, as police investigated the daughter, they discovered her diary, which detailed an attack she planned for April 5 at Catoctin High School in Thurmont, Maryland.  Her writing mentions the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School and the 2012 elementary school shooting at Newtown, Connecticut.  

The diary was reportedly extremely detailed and contained intelligence the girl had gathered about activities at the school, including emergency procedures and information about the school resource officer.  Cevario laid out a timeline of what she planned to do at each stage leading up to the attack. She also anticipated that she herself would die in the massacre. 

Sheriffs recovered other items in the home, including a shotgun with ammunition and “bombmaking materials to include pipes with end caps, shrapnel, fireworks, magnesium tape and fuse material.”

Upon the father’s report, the girl “was immediately removed from the classroom and turned over to investigators,” according to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.  Cevario was a senior at the school.

Sheriff Charles Jenkins told ABC News, “I can’t tell you how thankful I am that [the family] stepped forward, offered this information to school administrators and contacted us. Without their help with this thing, we would have been dealing with an aftermath, rather than averting.”

Sheriff Jenkins acknowledged how difficult the decision must have been for them, but noted, “They most likely saved their daughter’s life as well as other lives within the student body.”

It is not uncommon for potential attackers to mention the Columbine incident.  In the last 17 years, 79 attacks have been prevented and more than half of the would-be attackers mentioned Columbine as they made their plans, according to ABC News.

What is uncommon is a female shooter. The FBI’s analysis of 160 incidents from 2000 to 2013 found only 6 that involved a female shooter.

“She actually felt there had not been a female mass shooter at a school and she would be willing to be the first one,” Sheriff Jenkins told WBAL-TV.

When officers removed Cevario from school, she was taken to a hospital on concerns that she posed a threat to herself.  The teenager will reportedly be served with an arrest warrant upon her release from the hospital, with charges that include possession of explosive material with intent to create a destructive device and possession of incendiary material with the intent to create a destructive device.

President of the Frederick County Board of Education, Brad Young, noted that Nichole’s parents’ efforts thwarted “a potentially disastrous situation.”


Photo: Frederick County Sheriff’s Office