A Sultana High School junior is in custody after officials discovered he had allegedly created a "kill list" of students and school staff.

"At the end of the school day yesterday we were made ware of a serious situation at our site," a letter from principal Tracy Marsh sent home with Sultana students Thursday afternoon reads in part. "A very conscientious student informed staff about a 'hit list' written by another Sultana student."

The complete text of Marsh's letter can be found here.

"It was brought to us as a piece of paper with some names on it and 'kill list' written on top," Marsh said Thursday. The list of approximately 30 names consisted of staff members, including campus security, "some students and some individuals that we don't know."

The student was pulled out of class, and reportedly admitted to writing the list.

"When we did do a search of him, he had nothing else on him," Marsh said. "No list, no weapons, nothing."

The boy was taken into custody. The investigation was turned over to Hesperia Unified School District school police and the Hesperia station of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, and the student's home was searched.

"It looked like any old kid's room," said interim school police chief Mike Graham. "A typical kid, with the typical things in his room, you know."

"No one uncovered anything that's a map of the campus or anything," Marsh said. "All we have is this piece of paper [with] names on it."

The student has been permanently removed from the school district and is undergoing a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation at Loma Linda University Medical Center, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Arden Wiltshire. The department's investigation is ongoing, but Wiltshire said detectives believe the student was working alone.

"It's good to know this young man is also receiving help at this time," Marsh said. "The individual was a pretty good kid. It's just that unfortunate that whatever frame of mind he was in the day that he wrote this, that it's gotten to this point for him. If he is having thoughts of conducting something like this, it's better that it's been discovered now, obviously, rather than later."

The district's reaction is shaped by the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999.

"If somebody had gotten this 20 years ago, they would have been like 'what is this about' and the kid would have been back at school the next day," Marsh said.

"I am very, very pleased with how staff handled this to ensure both staff and students are safe," said Mark McKinney, HUSD's interim superintendent.

"Obviously this is very, very serious, and we need to be on top of things like this," said Robert Kirk, president of the HUSD school board, "But I think the staff involved did an excellent job."

The school board will vote Monday night on a plan to add cameras to school campuses, starting with high schools. The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. at 15576 Main Street. The item was already on the agenda prior to Wednesday's incident.

"This district has continued to impress me with the support that it gives, and having its own police department, what a huge aspect that is for any district," Marsh said. "This district has a structure and a policy in place that really allows a district to follow the procedure."

This is the second major weapons scare at Sultana High School this academic year: A dummy hand grenade was discovered on campus in September after a classroom demonstration by local Army personnel.

Sultana High School serves approximately 2,700 students.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.