CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The statewide manhunt for Sol Pais is over in Colorado. She is dead from possible self-inflicted wounds, according to a law enforcement source at a command post in Clear Creek County. The FBI tweeted “THERE IS NO LONGER A THREAT TO THE COMMUNITY.”
The 18-year-old female suspect was on the run after after making threats that led to the closure of school for more than half a million students on Colorado’s Front Range Wednesday.
“I’m deeply grateful for the support of the Denver metro area superintendents and other state leaders. While Jeffco was the epicenter of this threat, it extended across the whole metro area and affected us all,” Jefferson County School Superintendent Jason Glass said.
Law enforcement sources believe Pais took an Uber to the Echo Lake area near the base of Mount Evans sometime after being spotted in the foothills of Jefferson County on Monday night. She was found dead Wednesday morning half a mile away from Echo Lake Lodge up Mount Evans Road, near where the road is currently closed for the season.
Before the announcement of her death, 20 or 30 armed officers including a SWAT team and a Clear Creek County snowcat were spotted near the Echo Lake Campground in the midst of an extensive search operation.
RELATED: Who Was Sol Pais?
A woman who was hiking in the area in the Arapaho National Forest told CBS4 she was told to leave the area because “a naked woman matching the description with a gun was spotted in the area running through the woods.”
Law enforcement had considered Pais to be armed and dangerous. The 18-year-old was from Florida and made some comments about the 1999 Columbine shooting that apparently caused great concern. She was apparently “infatuated with the perpetrators of Columbine.” This weekend marks 20 years since the mass shooting in Jefferson County.
Authorities haven’t said exactly what she said, and it’s not clear if those comments were made before or after her purchase of a pump-action shotgun once she arrived in Colorado earlier this week. She apparently wasn’t specifically threatening any specific school in her comments. The closures of schools Wednesday included the majority of schools — both public and private — in the Denver metro area. That includes Columbine High School and other Jeffco schools and all of Denver Public Schools, the state’s largest school district. Other closures stretched into northern Colorado — Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Estes Park Schools and Greeley-Evans School District 6 were closed.
Jefferson County School Superintendent Jason Glass said he expects school operations to return to normal on Thursday and also events surrounding the anniversary of the Columbine shooting to go on as planned.
The FBI and Jefferson County Sheriff’s office were among the police agencies leading the investigation.
“We want our schools to be a safe place for kids to learn and where they can be productive. And that’s why we (took) this threat seriously,” said Sheriff Jeff Shrader.