JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — Colorado police agencies are continuing their search for an “armed and dangerous” woman who has expressed infatuation with the Columbine school shooting, according to FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips.
Sol Pais, 18, of Florida, is accused of making a threat against the Denver metropolitan area that prompted lockouts at multiple Colorado schools on Tuesday and school closures on Wednesday.
Law enforcement in Denver were first alerted to Pais on Tuesday morning from the FBI office in Miami. The Denver FBI office then started assessing the threat and determined it was credible.
“She departed the airport and went to a store where she did procure a weapon,” Phillips said. “She obtained a pump-action shotgun and ammunition. She was then taken to an area where she was last seen out towards the foothills and we’ve been trying to find her ever since.”
In a press conference Tuesday evening, Phillips described the search effort as a “massive manhunt,” involving multiple law enforcement agencies from across the Denver metro area.
Pais was last seen in the foothills of Jefferson County and was wearing a black T-shirt, camouflage pants and black boots, law enforcement said. Police have been instructed to detain Pais and evaluate her mental health status if they contact her.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the FBI tipline at 303-630-6227 or email tips at firstname.lastname@example.org. The public should not approach her.
Phillips said law enforcement did not have information about specific threats made against any particular school, but that Pais’ actions, comments and travel to Colorado made law enforcement consider her a credible threat to the community.
Several school districts, including Jefferson County, announced classes are canceled Wednesday as schools are still on high alert as this investigation continues.
“We take these threats seriously,” Jeffco Sheriff Jeff Shrader said. “It’s not the first threat we’ve had that involves Columbine High School. In that regard, I know this opens a wound, especially on an anniversary week, especially for those families most deeply impacted by this.”
The threat prompted the Colorado Department of Education to tweet a recommendation that all area schools should go on alert on Tuesday.
“The Department of Public Safety recommends all schools in the Denver metro area conduct a lockout and controlled release immediately,” the tweet said.
A lockout means that it’s business as usual inside the buildings, but that entry and exit to the buildings are restricted. A controlled release means parents must show their ID when they pick up students.
In general, lockouts are ordered when there is an issue outside the building, and it’s most often related to police activity that could pose a threat, according to the district’s website.
NBC Miami reports that detectives have also been seen at a home in Surfside, Fla. where Pais lives, according to neighbors.
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