When his son killed himself after being punished by his high school for stealing, pharmaceutical sciences professor Rainer Reinscheid was angry.
He blamed the Irvine school’s treatment of his son for the teen’s death – and the next month, wrote emails describing in graphic detail a plan to buy guns, murder students and administrators, carry out sexual assaults, burn down the school and kill himself, authorities said.
The case dates back to March when Reinscheid’s son, whose name has not been released, was disciplined for a theft in the student store and was punished with trash pick-up duties at lunch, said Ian Hanigan, a spokesman for the Irvine Unified School District.
The teen committed suicide shortly thereafter at a park adjacent to the high school. The Orange County Register reported that the 14-year-old’s body was found by a maintenance worker and that the coroner ruled the cause of death was asphyxiation due to hanging by suicide.
Now, the 48-year-old is being held without bail as prosecutors say the professor who has spent more than a decade at University of California, Irvine is a danger to society.
Prosecutors have charged Reinscheid with five counts of arson and one count of attempted arson for lighting objects ranging from newspapers to brush to a plastic porch chair at the park where his son hanged himself in March, University High School and the home of the assistant principal.