UC Irvine professor allegedly threatened to kill high school students

A hallway in University High School, Irvine. The DA says the alleged arsons and threats of murder were directed at the school, where the man's son went to school.
A hallway in University High School, Irvine. The DA says the alleged arsons and threats of murder were directed at the school, where the man's son went to school. Kevin Zollman/Flickr

A UC Irvine professor apparently made plans to kill students at an Irvine high school, which he blamed for his son’s suicide.

Court documents show 48-year-old Rainer Reinscheid described plans to buy guns and shoot at least 200 University High School students.

He is charged with setting five arson fires: One at University High School, one at nearby Mason Park and three at the Costa Mesa home of the high school’s assistant principal.

His son attended the Irvine school before committing suicide in Mason Park.

Prosecutors said he held the school responsible for his son’s suicide in March. The 14-year-old was disciplined at the school.

Documents show Reinschied’s wife, Wendy, said her husband "has been suffering from deep depression and sadness since his son's suicide.”

The emails were written to his wife.

The fires were allegedly set between July 4 and July 24.

The emails also threatened school officials.

Reinschied is an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at UCI and a German citizen.

A UC Irvine spokeswoman said Reinscheid is still on the school’s faculty but they can’t comment further because of confidential personnel issues.

The Orange County Register cites a police report which said the professor was granted a leave of absence from UC Irvine from July through late-September.

Reinschied is scheduled to be arraigned next week (Aug. 8) on the felony arson charges.

With contributions by KPCC Wire Services

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