Maryland High School Shooting Plot

A Reminder of “See Something, Say Something” at the Maryland High School Shooting Plot

Frederick County deputies uncovered a Maryland high school shooting plot on Monday, March 27, 2017. They successfully stopped a potential mass killing and active shooter event at Catoctin High School in Thurmont, Maryland. This was all because a parent of another student reported their concerns.

Those concerns unraveled a chilling story of a troubled teenage student, Nichole Cevario. She planned to bring a loaded shotgun and explosives to Catoctin High School and attack students, staff and the School Resource Officer. The Frederick County Sheriff’s Department indicated Cevario illustrated, in her journal, detailed plans on how she was going to carry out the  high school shooting plot as soon as April 5th.

Detectives stated, “the journal was very detailed including a timeline that revealed how she was going to execute the plot and her expectations at each stage of the event”.

We applaud the parents who reported these concerns to the authority for their courage in bringing this information to light. Because of these parents a potential tragedy was prevented and many lives were saved. The Sheriff’s Department also did an outstanding job of being proactive with the investigation. They removed Cevario from the school immediately, and without incident.

This Maryland high school shooting plot reminds school staff and parents that:

  1. You should always remain vigilant and not allow biases to any gender or race.
  2. Male students carry out the majority of active shooter plots.
  3. Throughout history, female students have only carried out less than a handful of active shooter events in U.S. schools.
  4. This incident demonstrates the importance of not underestimating potential threats.

Be vigilant in our schools!

At Guardian Defense, we recommend continuing to share incidents such as these and remind your staff that threats statistically come from someone associated with the school and not necessarily an outsider.

  1. Be cognizant of behavior changes in students and staff.
  2. Question individuals you don’t recognize in the hallway and who aren’t wearing proper identification.
  3. In this case at the Maryland high school shooting plot, parents applied the concept of “see something, say something” and the nation is grateful they did.

Unfortunately, threats will continue to haunt our schools. Therefore, a solid school plan that encompasses training and written procedures will ignite a culture of safety that will thwart potential active shooter events!

To learn more about preventing violence in your child’s school, please visit our website.


About Steven S. Smith

Steven S. Smith, the President and Founder of Guardian Defense, offers active shooter training programs to staff within schools, colleges, churches, law enforcement agencies, businesses, and hospitals; in order to build confidence and save time in the event of an intruder, active shooter or killer, or other terror attack. Mr. Smith is a current certified law enforcement officer and has a range of experience on school and public safety, and investigation work. He is currently a team leader and instructor on the SWAT Team, for which he joined in 2009. Mr. Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a concentration in Criminal Justice, in 2005 from Nova Southeastern University.