Florida woman accused of Columbine threats found dead in Colorado

Sol Pais, 18, attended Miami Beach High School

LITTLETON, Colo. - Here's the latest on the search for a Florida teen accused of making threats that put Denver-area schools on alert. (all times local to Denver)

2:45 p.m.

Authorities say a teenager who was obsessed with the Columbine school shooting and may have been planning an attack raised suspicions after making unspecified comments to people at home in Florida and buying three one-way tickets to Denver.

FBI agent in charge Dean Phillips in Denver said Wednesday that people who talked to 18-year-old Sol Pais contacted police in Florida, who in turn notified the FBI on Tuesday.

Phillips said Pais flew to Denver on Monday, using the earliest ticket she purchased, then went straight to a gun shop to buy a shotgun.

Phillips said her actions and comments led to the swift response by authorities, including shutting down schools in the Denver area.

Pais was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday at a popular recreation area in the mountains west of Denver after investigators got a tip from a driver who took her there.

12:10 p.m.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis says that he and all of the state's parents are "hugging their children a little tighter" after a young Florida woman obsessed with the 1999 Columbine High School attack was found dead.

Polis says that "the potential threat is over" after authorities announced Wednesday that 18-year-old Sol Pais had been found by the FBI with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Authorities say Pais flew to Colorado and bought a shotgun and ammunition ahead of Saturday's 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.

They initially said she "made threats to commit an act of violence in the Denver metropolitan area."

Polis says in a statement: "Today, parents across Colorado --including me-- are hugging their children a little tighter."

He adds: "Together we thank law enforcement for their swift and diligent actions over the past 24 hours to keep Coloradans safe, and we will continue to be vigilant against threats to our community."

12:05 p.m.

The young woman whose alleged obsession with Columbine High School prompted the closure of schools in the Denver area purchased a gun from a store that is not far from the scene of the 1999 school shooting that killed 13 people.

Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said 18-year-old Sol Pais bought the pump-action shotgun at a gun shop in the Littleton area, not far from Columbine High School. Littleton is a community that is near Columbine High School.

Shrader says the sale apparently followed the state's legal process. Gun buyers in Colorado must provide fingerprints and pass criminal background checks.

Colorado law allows someone who is not a state resident to purchase a "long gun," but not a handgun, from dealers with federal firearms licenses.

Buyers of long guns, such as shotguns, must be at least 18 years old. Handgun purchasers must be at least 21 years old.

11:50 a.m.

The police chief from the hometown of the woman allegedly obsessed with the Columbine shooting who was found dead in Colorado is asking the media to give her family "privacy and a little time to grieve."

Surfside, Florida Police Chief Julio Yero says the family of Sol Pais contributed tremendously to the investigation and "provided valuable information that led us to Colorado and a lot of things that assisted in preventing maybe more loss of life."

Pais was found dead Wednesday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Mount Evans, Colorado.

Yero held a press conference near the family's home. He said he had to notify the family that their daughter was dead and that they are grieving.

11:35 a.m.

Authorities say the young Florida woman who was allegedly obsessed with the Colombine shooting is dead.

Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader told reporters Wednesday that the FBI found Sol Pais dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The FBI had said that Sol Pais flew to Colorado on Monday night and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition.

Authorities initially said she "made threats to commit an act of violence in the Denver metropolitan area."

11:25 a.m.

An 18-year-old Florida woman suspected of making threats against Columbine High School was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday.

Sol Pais was found at a campsite in Mt. Evans, which is operated by the National Forest Service. The Associated Press reported she was reportedly naked and running through the woods, armed with a gun.

KMGH-TV in Denver is reporting she died of a fatal gunshot wound at the park 30 minutes outside Denver.

Pais is accused of making threats just days before the 20th anniversary of a mass shooting that killed 13 people.

The information prompted a lockdown at the high school and several others outside Denver. All students were safe, school officials said. 

Sol Pais traveled to Colorado on Monday night and made threats against the schools, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the FBI said. The FBI in Denver won't say what types of threats she allegedly made, but that she was "infatuated" with Columbine. 

10:20 a.m.

Students at Miami Beach High School spent much of the morning behind locked classroom doors after news emerged that authorities were searching in Colorado for a classmate allegedly obsessed with the 1999 Columbine shootings.

The FBI has said that Sol Pais, flew to Colorado on Monday night and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition.

Eduardo Filipo is a 17-year-old junior at the school and says that teachers locked classroom doors Wednesday as a precaution.

He says he saw Pais frequently at school and that she mostly kept to herself.

Police searched her home in the nearby city of Surfside.

Authorities initially said she "made threats to commit an act of violence in the Denver metropolitan area."

But the FBI later softened that description to say she made "threats in the Denver metro area" ahead of Saturday's anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School that killed 13 people.

10:10 a.m.

Gov. Jared Polis is assuring Colorado residents that federal, state and local law enforcement are "dedicating all of their resources to locate this dangerous individual."

Polis is referring to Sol Pais. She is an 18-year-old Florida woman authorities say flew to Colorado and bought a shotgun and ammunition ahead of Saturday's 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.

Authorities initially said she "made threats to commit an act of violence in the Denver metropolitan area."

But the FBI later softened that description to say she made "threats in the Denver metro area"

The Democratic governor asked people to share information about Pais and report information to authorities.

"We know that there is a lot of anxiety right now in Colorado," Polis said in a statement Wednesday.

He says Colorado's "biggest priority is keeping our children safe."

9:10 a.m.

The Miami Herald is reporting that Miami Beach law enforcement officials found "deeply disturbed" online postings by the young Florida woman who is allegedly obsessed with the 1999 Columbine school shootings and notified the FBI.

The newspaper cited a law enforcement source that it did not identify.

The newspaper also reports that officers in the city of Surfside, Florida where the woman lives turned their investigation over to Miami Beach police.

The woman has been identified as 18-year-old Sol Pais and officials have said she is a student at Miami Beach High School.

Police are searching her home in the nearby city Surfside and have been seen removing papers from the home.

Authorities have said Pais traveled from Miami to Colorado Monday night.

They say she has not made a specific threat but say her fascination with the Columbine shooting and the gunmen and her recent actions raised suspicions.

Denver area schools are closed Wednesday as authorities search for her.

8:30 a.m.

Police are searching the home of a young Florida woman who is allegedly obsessed with the 1999 Columbine school massacre and the subject of a search in Colorado.

Officers were seen removing the large stack of papers Wednesday morning from the single-family home of Sol Pais in Surfside, Florida, a city just north of Miami Beach.

School officials say Pais is a student at Miami Beach High School.

Neighbors watched as authorities searched the home.

Authorities have said Pais is 18 and traveled from Miami to Colorado Monday night.

They say she has not made a specific threat but say her fascination with the Columbine shooting and the gunmen and her recent actions raised suspicions.

Denver area schools are closed Wednesday as authorities search for her.

 

8:05 a.m.

A spokeswoman for Miami-Dade County Public Schools says the woman allegedly obsessed with the 1999 Columbine school massacre who authorities are searching for in Colorado is a Miami Beach High School student.

Spokeswoman Jackie Calzadilla says school officials are "fully assisting the FBI in their investigation."

Authorities have identified the woman as 18-year-old Sol Pais. They say traveled from Miami to Colorado on Monday night and was last seen in the foothills west of Denver.

They say she has not made a specific threat but say her fascination with the Columbine shooting and the gunmen and her recent actions raised suspicions.

Denver area schools are closed Wednesday as authorities search for her.

7:45 a.m.

Denver area schools are closed as authorities search for a young Florida woman allegedly obsessed with the 1999 Columbine school massacre who traveled to Colorado and bought a gun days before the 20th anniversary of the school shooting.

About a half million students were forced to stay home Wednesday because authorities believe 18-year-old Sol Pais could pose a threat to a school.

They say she has not made a specific threat but say her fascination with the Columbine shooting and the gunmen and her recent actions raised suspicions.

She traveled from Miami to Colorado on Monday night and was last seen in the foothills west of Denver.

Her presence led officials to lock the doors at Columbine and about 20 other schools to as classes were held Tuesday.

5 a.m.

Police in South Florida say a young woman being sought for allegedly posing a credible threat that has put Denver-area schools on lockdown was reported missing on Monday night by her parents.

Surfside Police Sgt. Marian Cruz confirmed that parents of 18-year-old Sol Pais last saw her on Sunday and reported her missing on Monday.

The Miami Herald and WTVJ are reporting that the teen is a senior at Miami Beach High School. The FBI was interviewing the family and neighbors on Tuesday.

Authorities say Pais flew to Colorado on Monday and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition after expressing an "infatuation" with the mass shooting at Columbine High School 20 years ago.

12:40 a.m.

Education officials say Denver-area public schools will be closed Wednesday due to an ongoing safety concern as authorities search for a woman who they say is armed, making threats and "infatuated" with the Columbine High School shooting.

Authorities say 18-year-old Sol Pais made undisclosed threats that prompted Columbine and more than 20 other schools outside Denver to lock their doors for nearly three hours Tuesday afternoon.

Denver Public Schools said all facilities and programs will be closed Wednesday, and there will be no afternoon activities or athletic competitions.

The district said the decision to close campuses was in collaboration with other Denver metro-area school districts.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the FBI say Pais traveled to Colorado from Miami on Monday night and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition.

10:15 p.m. Tuesday

Schools in the Denver area are on heightened alert after authorities say a woman who is "infatuated" with the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School made threats just days before the 20th anniversary of the attack that killed 13 people.

Authorities are looking for 18-year-old Sol Pais after undisclosed threats prompted Columbine and more than 20 other schools outside Denver to lock their doors for nearly three hours Tuesday afternoon.

All schools in the Denver area were urged to tighten security, and some canceled evening activities or moved them inside.

Investigators say Pais traveled to Colorado from Miami on Monday night and bought a shotgun and ammunition. Police who might come into contact with her were told to detain her and evaluate her mental health.

Sol Pais, 18.

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