SANTA ANA ( — Parents were called Tuesday to an Orange County high school after police arrested a 16-year-old boy allegedly planning to kill 15 students.

The suspect, a sophomore at Nova Academy Charter School, wrote an email to his ex-girlfriend saying he had a “hit list” of students he wanted to shoot, according to Santa Ana police.

The boy told the girl, who’s also a student at the school, that he was going to enlist the help of others. He said the idea came as the result of years of bullying, which allegedly began when he was in middle school.

The emails were brought to the attention of school officials Monday night.

“Last night two students went to the principal, provided [her] with some documentation of what was going on. She immediately did the right thing, called the police department. We came out, investigated, they interviewed the male student and based on the information that we got from the interview and the evidence the officers obtained, they arrested him,” said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Dept.

Soon after, the campus was placed on lockdown and police officers came and questioned the boy. He told officers that he would do whatever necessary to carry out the alleged threat. He was arrested and is being held at a juvenile detention center.

Investigators say they didn’t recover any weapons on the student.

Authorities say they’re still looking into when the alleged attack was to take place.

Police were on campus Tuesday and will continue to protect students until the school hires their own security.

School Principal Renee Lancaster said, “Our community is about taking care of our families, and that’s what we pride ourselves in doing, and in doing the right thing. And we want this student to get some help, if needed, and we care about him, just like we care about every student here.”


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