Prosecutors: UC Irvine Professor searched Internet for guns

The DA says the alleged arsons and threats of murder were directed at University High School in Irvine, where UC Irvine Professor Rainer Reinscheid's son went to school before committing suicide.
The DA says the alleged arsons and threats of murder were directed at University High School in Irvine, where UC Irvine Professor Rainer Reinscheid's son went to school before committing suicide. NBC LA

Orange County prosecutors say that before his arrest on arson charges, a UC Irvine professor had spent months scouring the Internet for information on guns, gun laws, ammonium fertilizer and auto explosions.

The Orange County District Attorney’s office says he also wrote repeated emails outlining plans to attack University High School in Irvine.

According to prosecutors, UCI pharmaceutical sciences professor Rainer Reinscheid had searched the Internet for weapons and other hazardous material between 40 and 60 times since March.

Reinscheid's 14-year-old son committed suicide after being disciplined at University High School — in March.

Prosecutor Andrew Katz says the searches raise concerns Reinscheid would follow through on emails threatening violence. Those emails, some of which were sent to his wife, detailed plans to shoot as many as 200 students and staff at the high school.

Prosecutors say he also threatened to burn the school down.

He faces charges of setting five small fires at the school, the nearby park where his son committed suicide and at the home of a University High School administrator, allegedly to avenge his son’s death.

Reinscheid is being held without bail.

blog comments powered by Disqus