A 16-year-old student at Nova Academy Charter School in Santa Ana was detained after the discovery of an email to his ex-girlfriend that included a “hit list” of people he would shoot at the campus and plans to recruit others to join him in the rampage, according to police.
The “early college high school” released a statement claiming the campus at 1010 W. 17th St. is now safe and the unidentified student has been legally barred from getting near it.
Nova Academy officials contacted Santa Ana Police around 7 p.m. Monday to report the threatening email from the sophomore, who they say did not direct any of his threats toward his ex-girlfriend. He did mention “he was tired of being bullied,” according to police.
Officers made contact with the boy, who provided the names of the students he intended to kill, say police, who added the teen was still being held as of Tuesday afternoon at juvenile hall.
Emergency restraining orders were obtained by officers on behalf of the ex-girlfriend and the school. The police department vowed to “continue to work with the school to take proactive measures to strengthen the safety of the students and staff at the NOVA Academy,” adding that the investigation is ongoing.
Through Executive Director Renee Lancaster, NOVA Academy released this statement Tuesday:
NOVA Academy has been made aware of a serious threat to a select group of our students. School staff takes any threat seriously and are working with local law enforcement to ensure the utmost safety of our school community.
Currently, the student who made the alleged threats is incarcerated and does not have access to our students, staff or our school site. The student is also lawfully restrained from coming within 100 yards of our school address. The families of any individual students, who may have been a subject of these alleged threats, have been contacted by NOVA and the Santa Ana Police Department this afternoon to inform them of the threat.
NOVA has taken proactive steps to secure our school. NOVA will have an armed guard onsite from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Friday through at least April 11, the beginning of our spring break. We have also secured the assistance of the Santa Ana Police Department. NOVA and the Santa Ana Police Department will continue to work cooperatively to protect and update our students, parents and staff. NOVA staff will be available on campus from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily this week.
Student and campus safety is NOVA's number one priority.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.