AP NEWS

Sol Pais sought: Denver-area school closures prompted by manhunt for woman obsessed with Columbine

April 17, 2019 GMT

DENVER Virtually every school in the greater Denver metro area closed Wednesday after the FBI launched a “massive manhunt” for a Miami woman described as armed, dangerous and obsessed with the Columbine High School massacre.

Hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren stayed home after the FBI and local law enforcement held a late Tuesday press conference warning of a “credible threat” from 18-year-old Sol Pais, who flew into Denver on Monday and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition.

She has not been seen since she was dropped off in the Jefferson County foothills area west of Denver, not far from Columbine High School in Littleton, which marks the 20th anniversary of the horrific school shooting on Saturday.

“We have no specific information about any specific threat to any specific school. We don’t have that sort of credible information, but we do consider her to be a credible threat to the community,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips.

He said she had an “infatuation” with Columbine, which is located in the Jefferson County school district, the second-largest school system in the state and one of the many that shut down Wednesday over the threat.

Other large school districts closing down included Denver, Boulder Valley, Douglas County, Littleton, St. Vrain, Cherry Creek and Aurora, as well as dozens of private schools.

Sol Pais is armed and dangerous. We are operating out of an abundance of caution. The threat is not isolated to one school or individual. Federal, state, and local law enforcement are working together to keep our community safe. Tip Line: 303-630-6227. Media Line: 303-630-6427. pic.twitter.com/KENVT1kEK3 FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) April 17, 2019

Mr. Phillips said the FBI in Miami identified threats made by Ms. Pais, who was wearing a black T-shirt, camouflage pants and black boots.

“She did not make any specific threats to a specific school, but her comments, her actions that we have heard about from others tend to cause us great concern that she could pose a threat to a school, not necessarily Columbine,” Mr. Phillips said. “She has had an infatuation with Columbine and the perpetrators of Columbine.”

The 1999 Columbine shooting saw two teen shooters kill 12 students and a teacher before turning their firearms on themselves.

“It’s certainly not the first threat that we’ve had that involves Columbine High School or references it,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader. “And in that regard, I know that this opens a wound, especially on an anniversary week, for those families who were most deeply impacted by this.”

Several schools, including Columbine, went on lockdown Tuesday afternoon after the FBI’s Denver office was notified of the potential threat by the FBI in Miami.