DENVER (CBS4) – Sol Pais, the female suspect who is 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, allegedly has been obsessed with the Columbine High School shooting for many years. This weekend marks 20 years since the mass shooting in Jefferson County.
“Because of her comments and her actions. Because of her travel here to the state. Because of her procurement of a weapon immediately upon arriving here, we consider her to be a credible threat certainly to the community and potentially to schools,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips.
SCHOOLS CLOSED: See The Full List Of Colorado Schools Closed On Wednesday
A statewide manhunt is underway for Pais, who is considered to be armed and dangerous. The 18-year-old is from Florida and made some comments about the Columbine shooting on April 20, 1999, that apparently caused great concern. She was apparently “infatuated with the perpetrators of Columbine.”
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 on Monday night. She apparently wasn’t specifically threatening any specific school in her comments.
The threat first led to a lockout on Tuesday afternoon of Columbine High School and other schools in the Jefferson County School District. Schools were let out on a normal dismissal in the afternoon.
Pais was last seen in the foothills of Jefferson County, west of Denver. She is described as a white female, 5-foot-5, with brown hair and was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, camo pants and black combat boots.
The FBI and Jefferson County Sheriff’s office are among the police agencies leading the investigation. Anyone with information that could be helpful to police is asked to call the FBI Tipline at 303-630-6227.
“We want our schools to be a safe place for kids to learn and where they can be productive. And that’s why we take this threat seriously today,” said Sheriff Jeff Shrader.
The closures of schools Wednesday include 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 stretch into northern Colorado — Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Estes Park Schools and Greeley-Evans School District 6 are closed.
See the full list of closed schools.
Pais is a student at Miami Beach Senior High School. Her family is asking her to turn herself in. CBS4 in Miami talked with her father through a closed door at the family home in Surfside.
“It’s like a bad dream. We don’t know. We don’t have any ideas,” he said. “I think that maybe she has a mental problem.”
20 YEARS LATER: Columbine Legacy