Ontario Christian High student arrested, charged for allegedly plotting shooting at his high school

Ontario police say the suspect was "obsessed" with school shootings and had at least five specific students he wanted to target.

Thursday, February 15, 2024
Student arrested for allegedly plotting school shooting in Ontario
An 18-year-old student has been arrested after police say he had "every intention" to carry out a shooting at his Ontario high school.

ONTARIO, Calif. (KABC) -- An 18-year-old student has been arrested and is facing attempted murder charges after police say he had "every intention" to carry out a shooting at a high school in Ontario, and had several firearms and a cache of ammunition in his home.

Sebastian Villasenor, a student at Ontario Christian High School from Eastvale, was taken into custody after a fellow student came forward with concerns of Villasenor being fixated with school shootings and had access to weapons, Ontario Police Chief Michael Lorenz said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The school principal notified police last Thursday about the student's concerns.

"What we discovered through the course of our investigation revealed that Villasenor had every intention of carrying out a school shooting at the Ontario Christian High School," Lorenz said.

"During our investigation we learned Villasenor was obsessed with school shootings and police response times," Lorenz added. "He researched tactical supplies and was in the process of choosing a specific date to carry out the school shooting."

Numerous weapons - seven rifles, two revolvers, one handgun and one shotgun - were found in the student's home when he was arrested Saturday, Lorenz told reporters. Police also seized more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

The suspect's parents legally owned the weapons, police told Eyewitness News.

Police say during interviews with Villasenor, he told them there were at least five specific students he wanted to target.

The suspect's motive is unclear. Police say he was not bullied, however, he had trouble building relationships with classmates and had an obsession with the Columbine shooting.

Lorenz said investigators believe Villasenor may have been planning a shooting around April 20, which is the anniversary of the 1999 attack at Columbine High School.

Villasenor is facing five felony charges of attempted murder and one felony charge of attempted criminal threats, according to the district attorney's office.

The student who reported Villasenor was praised by the police chief.

"To be clear, the student who came forward - who saw something and said something - is a hero," Lorenz said. "That student saved lives, spared families from losing their children and a community from being devastated from a senseless act of violence."

School officials said not only are they grateful to law enforcement, but also to the student who stepped forward with the information that led to the arrest.

"We're grateful that this is not another version of this story," said Jason Gaudy, president of the Ontario Christian School Association Board. "There are a lot of people that were a part of making that happen."

Lorenz said there is no additional threat to students or staff.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.