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UC Irvine professor accused of shooting plot set to be arraigned

August 15, 2012 |  9:00 am

UC Irvine professor
A UC Irvine professor accused of lighting a series of arson fires following the suicide of his 14-year-old son is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors said Rainer Reinscheid set five fires and attempted to ignite a sixth from July 4 to July 24, following the death of his son Claas, a student at University High School. The fires took place at  University High School, Mason Park Preserve and a school administrator’s home and involved such objects as newspapers, fireplace logs, vegetation, a book and a plastic porch chair.

Investigators said Reinscheid was furious at University High School officials over their handling of the death of his son, who killed himself in Mason Park Preserve in March after being disciplined for theft from a student store.

After his son’s suicide, Reinscheid sent emails saying he planned to use machine guns to kill the assistant principal of University High School, shoot hundreds of students, burn the school to the ground and then commit suicide, according to documents filed in court by the prosecution.

Reinscheid also wrote he planned to make one administrator “die slowly” while the school official’s wife and children watched, according to the emails, which were recovered from his cellphone.

Reinscheid, a teacher at UC Irvine's department of pharmaceutical science, was arrested July 24.


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Photo: UC Irvine professor Rainer Reinscheid is shown July 31 on a video screen at Santa Ana Central Jail. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times