A professor who works at the University of California, Irvine, has been accused of planning a massacre at his deceased son’s high school. The professor, Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, began his planning back in March. He did so because his son, 14, was disciplined at University High School in Irvine. His son then hanged himself in Mason Park Preserve. Police in Irvine said that there was no evidence of the teen being bullied but many readers of the Orange County Register said they knew the boy and that he was bullied.
Fires were ignited by Reinscheid at the high school, at the home of the assistant principal from the school and at the Mason Park Preserve, totaling five fires in all. From the dates of July 4 to July 24, Reinscheid is accused of setting multiple objects on fire including a book, newspapers, brush and vegetation, fireplace logs and a plastic porch chair.
Reinscheid taught at UCI for 12 years and was finally arrested on July 24 at 1 a.m. in Mason Park Preserve when officers witnessed him attempted to start a fire with a newspaper and lighter fluid. On the same day, Reinscheid was able to post a $50,000 bail and was released. Reinscheid was arrested again that same night after officers from Irvine found emails on his phone to his wife and to himself dating back to April. The emails sent by Reinscheid discuss his plans to burn University High School, purchase guns to murder school officials and students, commit sex assaults and then kill himself.
According to Orange County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz, “I can only at this point tell you, he laid out in sufficient detail plans to purchase guns and murder lots of people.” This statement was in response to a question of whether or not the suspect acted alone. According to the biography on the UCI website, Reinscheid was employed as an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences. He also had been appointed to the biological sciences department and medical school.
Reinscheid is scheduled to make a court appearance on Tuesday. He is facing five counts of arson, one count of attempted arson and one misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing a police officer. Should Reinscheid be convicted on all counts he could be sentenced to 12 years and eight months in state prison. No statement has been issued by Reinscheid and it is not clear if he has hired a lawyer yet for his upcoming court hearing.