An 18-year-old Catoctin High School student will face charges this week after county sheriff’s deputies said they uncovered her plot last week to carry out a shooting at the school.

Nicole Cevario will be charged with both the possession of explosive materials with the intent to create a destructive device as well as possession of incendiary material with the intent to create a destructive device after she is released from Frederick Memorial Hospital for a mental evaluation.

Cevario was the only person believed to be involved in the plot and no one else was to be charged as of Monday, according to a news release issued Monday by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Cevario, of Thurmont, was arrested Thursday after one of her parents notified school officials of a threat to the school, Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said at a news conference Monday afternoon at the county’s law enforcement center.

“This event was very probably prevented by the parents who stepped forward,” Jenkins said. “They saw something, they said something, they came forward, they did the right thing, so I give all the credit in the world to the parents of this young lady.”

Cevario was removed from class Thursday immediately after her father notified school officials, Jenkins said.

A number of “explosive materials” — including pipes with end caps, nails to be used as shrapnel, fireworks, magnesium tape and fuse materials — were seized by deputies in a search of Cevario’s home last week, but none of those materials had been combined in any way to create a bomb, Jenkins said.

“Basically the plan was to extract the black powder from the fireworks to create the pipe bombs,” Jenkins said, adding that a Remington 870 shotgun and 12-gauge ammunition were also recovered from the house.

Authorities said Cevario bought the shotgun at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Frederick.

No weapons or explosives were recovered at the school, according to Monday’s release.

Cevario’s journal was at the center of the sheriff’s office’s ongoing investigation as of Monday, Jenkins said. From the first entry, dated Dec. 16, 2016, the diary hinted at violence, but the sheriff’s office was still looking into whether any specific events prompted Cevario to begin planning the shooting, Jenkins said.

“Within this diary, we saw evidence of mental health issues, a number of emotional issues, the way she went out and found the means to purchase materials,” Jenkins said. “... It was to create, basically to be a mass shooting type event. [There were] no specific names or targets.”

The journal contained a detailed analysis of every stage of Cevario’s plan and what she expected to encounter, including information she gathered from speaking with the school resource officer assigned to the school, Jenkins said.

“It was very clear to us that she had the means and materials to cause significant damage to herself, to the student body, to the facility up there at Catoctin High School. ... We felt this was going to be carried out. There was no doubt in our minds that we averted a disaster up there,” Jenkins said.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, to be honest with you,” Jenkins added.

Deputies also believe Cevario was intent on dying on April 5, the date specified in her journal for the shooting to occur, Jenkins said. There was no indication as to why Cevario had chosen April 5.

Cevario was also enrolled in the law enforcement/criminal justice program at the school district’s Career and Technology Center.

Michael Doerrer, a spokesman for Frederick County Public Schools, said there was no indication, at least from the school’s staff, before her arrest that Cevario was planning to carry out violence at the school.

That said, school officials acted as soon as they received word from Cevario’s father, which occurred while classes were in session Thursday.

“We identify the location of the student, go to where the student is and then remove the student to the office,” Doerrer said, outlining the school system’s protocol for handling potential threats. “That’s where law enforcement takes over. ... It’s important to us that we do that in a nondisruptive way and that’s exactly what happened here.”

Counselors and other resources were available for students and staff at Catoctin High School as of Monday morning, which is also outlined in school protocol, Doerrer said, adding that he was also at the school as of just after 11 a.m.

“It is business as usual at Catoctin High,” he said. “It’s quiet.”

The sheriff’s office’s release expressed the agency’s appreciation for the cooperation it received in the investigation from the county school system; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the state and county fire marshal’s offices; and the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Follow Jeremy Arias on Twitter: @Jarias_Prime.

Jeremy Arias is the Frederick city and government reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

(84) comments


The real hero is the father. Many parents look away or try to protect their children in these situations. He did the right thing.


I doubt if this young woman woke up one morning with ideations to construct IEDs. I believe we all are required by law to notify officials of an impending terror attacks and to provide adequate mental health treatment to our children.

Joey Pesto

The media, including the FNP, needs to be asking how did this get to this point? I'm sure the parents have been trying to get their daughter good mental health care since she was well under the age of 18. This is the result of bad mental health care in this country. Is this what a parent has to do to get their ill child psychiatric treatment? What if it was not her brain that was ill but instead another organ such as her heart or lung or liver? You can bet there would have been a much better treatment plan. This crime was cause by an untreated or badly treated illness. The media needs to be reporting on what lead up to this tragedy and not just the tragedy itself. Shame on the media!


Nowhere in any news reports does it say that any mental health care was sought out, by anyone! Only the sheriff in his remarks after reading the diary say the writings showed a mental health issue. To presume that treatment was sought and denied is spreading falsehoods against the parents and the system. Nowadays it's the right thing to do...claim a mental problem instead of taking responsibility for your actions. If in fact the female is found mentally incompetent then I hope she gets the help she needs.


pent up anger. many teens involved in custody cases have it. Or, some parents don't provide emotional support for the child as they should. And theres much much more, too.

No family is purfect. Not one.


Do not wish to minimize the severity of this matter and thankful it did not lead to potential disaster. However, I just witnessed this incident on NBC evening news cast. Question? How is this matter which was not allowed to escalate managed to get the attention of network news and the rap of a 14 year old girl by suspect illegal 18 year old immigrant did not. Please explain why?


Frayou, Are you really asking why the media sees potential mass murder and terrorism as more interesting than a rape case? Seriously, did you know there are nearly 1000 rapes every day in the US, but I would guess there are fewer Columbine plans. I imagine NBC took that into account.

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I don't know what newspapers you read or local and National news stations you watch or listen to, but this story has been and still is being extensively covered. Just this morning there was news about alleged prior communication between the girl and one of the perpetrators. I don't think this story will go away for a long time.


The important thing now is to try to work with the young lady, her parents and friends to see exactly what brought her to the point where she was willing to do such a thing. There is a tremendous opportunity here to try and identify the root cause of her problems and identifiable signs that might help to prevent the possibility of future incidents.


It's called pent up anger. Many kids have gone through some major events in their life that they will never forget. Custody issues, not getting along with parents, parents not supporting the kids, not providing them with the nurture and support they deserve. It all builds up inside. No one will listen. The kids are miserable. So to make their statement, they do things like this. And they're ready to die.

Listen to your kids. Support your kids. Make time for your kids. Get to know your kids.


Uh, This is just one person, and it is way more than teen anger. Most kids are not aspiring mass murderers.


Yeah, no kidding. That's some cry for help!


Kelly, Would you mind dumbing it down for me? [sad]


Whoa. Whoa. Hold on a second there, Karl. Lessons learned? Understanding of the psychology of someone plotting something abhorrent? That's just crazy talk! Don't you know the people of Frederick want to skip that the whole trial thing and just shot her now.

Seriously, never read the comments on Facebook.


I don't know the relevance of reporting where she bought the shotgun. It is so irrelevant and can only get the vender under a bad light even tho the bought the items lawfully. Truly hurtful with NO positive outcome.


I agree. No law was broken in the purchase of the shotgun. Where she bought it is moot.


It shows she got the weapon legally. Gets that question out of the way.

Business Owner

I have a great deal of respect for the parents, I cannot begin to fathom how difficult it was for them to take action. I'm irritated with Brad Young's statement -- not only was it poorly written but it was also an attempt to claim credit for FCPS. The parents didn't take action because of the school system!


The situation is very very concerning. I am a parent of a child in public school. I'm angry that this has become our society.

There really is no need for Brad young to write this letter.

And the sheriff. When he initially became sheriff he wanted to take the school resource officer program away. Obviously, he wised up and changed his mind. And just the other week, the FNP is quoting the sheriff making statements about how so much crime is commuted by illegal immigrants, which, is not correct, and proven by this situation


Wondered when you were going to jump on the sheriff. Didn't take long!

A Mother's Insticticts

I commend law enforcement for their swift call to action in order to insure the safety of innocent lives.
That being said, as a parent, I would have to question if this father had bothered to seek any other means of intervention before needing to make such a definitive decision in his daughter's case. Given the fact she had no history of violence, was going to be graduating, and had plans to continue her education in law enforcement leads me to seriously question the father's motive. Why not get rid of the "stockpile" of weapons and ammo, confiscate the diary and be sitting and waiting for her after school with some serious questions and/or ultimatums? She lived at home, so where's the communication? And if the father was so concerned about the lives of those at school why risk her getting to school before he called? Something isn't right. I call a red flag 🚩


She's a teenager. Communications between teens and parents may be absent. Her Dad intervened appropriately after he read her diary. She needed to be arrested so she couldn't move her timetable up. He did the right thing in my opinion.


Look at it both ways. The father could have take the guns and other implements away, had a serious discussion hoping to change her mind about any future prospect, but how could he be sure? If he had not called the police and turned her in it just might have become a festering problem and the next time, if there was one, might not have been caught. By going to the police, he is sure to get mental health for her. On balance, it is my belief her father did right. It must have been a very hard decision, just be glad you don't have to make that decision.


The girl has some online things suggesting she's into serial killers.


No doubt that is one of the hardest calls a parent can make. Many thank are due to the father and the Sherriff. Obviously the girl can never return to school and may be sent to jail and/or rehabilitation. No doubt there are things to be learned from this averted tragedy.


I would certainly hope she goes to jail.




Technically, the young laydee did not violate any school policy. Will she be allowed back?


Quote, from KellyAlzan: "Technically, the young laydee did not violate any school policy. Will she be allowed back?"

Per FCPS Policy 400-53 "Threats of Harm by Students". The definition of threat made against a person or school property: A threat consists of any indication – direct or indirect, oral or written – that would suggest intention to harm any person or school property.


A truely frightening situation resolved safely. One can't help but contrast the outcome with that of 19 year old Daniel Vail.


Thanks to the parents who stepped forward to protect both their daughter and others once they recognized a problem.


Where did she get the money to buy all of this? Where are the parents? Why don't parents do their job, ignore their child's pleas for privacy, and inspect their rooms, cars, cell phones, etc? We need more of the "I'm the adult, you are the child" approach.


She is 18. A legal adult.


If an FNP news story is about a kid doing something bad, someone here asks "Where are the parents?" If the story is like this one, where a possible tragedy is averted by the parents, we still get "Where are the parents?" Incredible. These parents should be commended and shown compassion.


Some just post out of hate


Did you read the article? Her father is the one that discovered this and came forward.


"...the way she went out and found the means to purchase materials,” Jenkins said." Clever person, that's how. The parents reported her. Heartbreaking.


Most teenagers can hide just about anything from their parents unless the parents are with them 24 hours a day. And being with a teenager 24 hours a day will make either the kid, the parents, or both crazy.




I am curious about the factors which contributed to this students radicalization which led her to construct IED's and what our community can do to help prevent future attacks.


We clearly must do a better job identifying, intervening into the lives of troubled youths and families to prevent these types of lone wolf terrorist attacks. We live in a society where 300 million firearms are owned by a population of 320 million citizens of which 50 million are estimated to have a diagnosable mental illness.

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Exactly WHAT does this have to do w/ our President??

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Kelly [thumbup]

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Whoknows, It is about how a large percentage of our country does not appear to be able to recognize mental illness.


Thank goodness this terrible situation came to a safe and positive conclusion. May the entire family, both the child and her parents, find some measure of healing and closure. May our Frederick County community remain strong and blessed, and may we all remain proactive and engaged with anyone crying out for help, anywhere, anytime.


This totally goes against all of the sheriff's justification for harassing illegal immigrants.



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It's cute you think this is all a big joke. Those of us with children in the Fredrick County school system are not taking lately to this.

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Kelly, I agree with Phy... what in the world are you talking about? I'd say that Sheriff Jenkins, his team, the school board, and especially the parents of this 18 y.o. did everything right in this case.


Who - I didn't say anything to the contrary.

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what office did she run for?


Are you reading the same story as the rest of us?


We need to lobby our legislatures to pass laws against making bombs and planning to use them. Perfect example of how this could of been prevented.


What planet are you from? Bomb making and violence is already unlawful.


SMH How would a new law stop this? Didn't they arrest her and she stands to go to trial on terrorism charges, just what more do you want?


She has not been arrested since she is in the hospital under observation.


"How would a new law stop this?" Good question. I guess the same way that you libs naively believe more gun laws will stop shootings committed by psychos.


Just like a wall on the Mexican border will stop crime. Duh!


We need to lobby our legislators to pass laws not allowing idiots to post comments to FNP articles. It is already illegal to make homemade bombs.


No one should be overly relieved by this interrupted terror attack we should be asking ourselves why didn't school officals or local law enforcement have a clue that a local school was about to be bombed.


And to think, jenkins initialy wanted to do away with the school resource officer program.....

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Fred, anytime I referenced sheriff Chuck Jenkins initial campaign promises or anything involving the Fredrick County sheriffs office is either available online or public information. I am not obligated to cite anything for you. You may research on your own.


In this case the only ones that knew about it were the girl and her diary until her Dad read her diary. I guess her parents didn't discover her stash of bomb making material.


Maybe their Magic 8-ball responded " Cannot Predict Now"


The U.S. intelligence community is warning law enforcement agencies around the country of persistent terror threats posed by radicalized Western women.


Irresponsible comment.


Unlike ostriches like yourself I believe anyone who builds IED's in their home is a terrorist and has become radicalized. What is truly irresponsible is for country to ignore we are inoculated from the extremist behaviors spreading across the globe.


You are so incredibly wrong and ignorant.


Ignorant was allowing terrorists on airplanes with box cutters and teaching them fly with no interest in landing.


First a heroin epidemic and now a potential suicide bomber in Frederick County.


?????? ^^^^^^


Thank you to the parent who made the phone call. My son is a student at that school. To even see an article about this happening at my child's school scares me. I am more than grateful to the parent for doing the right thing. You saved countless amounts of lives and stopped a tragedy from occurring in our little town. As a mom of a freshman in the school I cant thank you enough. I pray for peace and healing for your family and for your daughter.

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How???? Is this a family of illegal aliens or are you being facetious?


My prayers are with the parents and this troubled young lady.


Thanks to those parents, other parents won't have to cry over their kid's death. They were very courageous and went directly for help when they realized something was wrong with their daughter, instead of fearing judgement of people around. We should be grateful for this positive outcome instead of putting politics in the middle.
I wish those parents, their daughter and their family courage and patience in the healing process. I hope they all will find support in our community.


The parents are heroes in my book. They probably saved many lives and injuries. Sheriff Jenkins stated this young woman had all the items she needed for pipe bombs and a gun. Jenkins said she planned mass destruction and expected to die too. This event was to happen April 5th. Sheriff Jenkins gave all the credit to the parents for coming forward. Thank You Mr. and Mrs. Cevario


As a parent, you have to wonder what would you have done. The parent(s) did the right thing, it could have been much worse. It is not something you want to do, it is something you have to do. God Bless All!


My heart goes out to this family. It's a terrible thing to open your kid's closet and discover something really horrible that could hurt other people. Then you have to face the reality that in spite of everything you tried with this kid, they are really struggling. It's a long process, but with lots of hope and consistency and care for everyone in the family, things can get better with time. It happens to a lot of people, some who are able to talk about it and some that either don't understand it or feel shame. Don't tie yourself down to shame, be vocal, because that is how you find support. All the best and yes, you did the right thing. That is great parenting.


I hope the parents get through this time. Thankfully they were so alert and uncovered this before something terrible happened.

Joey Pesto

My heart bleeds for the parents who have tried to get her help but, because she is over the age of 18, cannot get her treatment. The mental health system in America is so bad. There are many cases like this where the parents knew something very bad was going to happen but their hands are tied. In this case, it sounds like they were left with no choice but to call the authorities on their child. Now the court system will mandate this child to get her mental illness treated. Once treated they will convict her and lock her in a prison cell for years leaving her metal illness untreated again. We need better mental illness laws and a better mental illness system to prevent tragedies like this. To the parents, know that you are not alone.


Your words are my exact sentiments! Unfortunately, the anguish they feel now will never completely go away. My prayers to the family.


Thank you mom and dad, I know this is a hard time but you did the right thing and hopefully this will be a chance for your daughter to get the help she needs.


Ditto! [thumbup]

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