Columbine High School and other schools in the Denver metro area were on high alert Tuesday after officials announced that there was a “credible threat,” just four days before the 20th anniversary of the historic school shooting.
Police are searching for an 18-year-old woman, Sol Pais, who investigators believe traveled to Colorado from Miami on Monday night and “made threats to the Denver metropolitan area,” the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office said on Facebook Tuesday.
Pais is believed to have bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition, according to law enforcement officials cited by the Associated Press. She was last seen in the foothills of Jefferson County, west of Denver, AP reports, and was considered extremely dangerous and not to be approached.
She allegedly has a fascination with the Columbine shootings, the Denver Post reported.
Schools districts across the Denver metro area were placed on lockout after the threats; the Post reported that over 20 schools were affected. Under lockout procedure, students are gathered inside of their school in order to protect them from a threat that is believed to be outside the building.
All of the students are safe, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office said on Facebook. Some schools released their students after additional security was called in and canceled evening activities or moved them inside.
Due to a credible threat to schools by an individual identified by the FBI, the Department of Public Safety recommends all schools in the Denver metro area conduct a lockout and controlled release immediately. More info to come. #edcolo
— CO Dept of Education (@codepted) April 16, 2019
Denver Public Schools advised that all facilities and programs would remain closed on Wednesday, with afternoon activities and athletic competitions canceled, AP reports.
On April 20, 1999, a pair of students rampaged through Columbine High School, murdering 12 of their classmates and a teacher and wounding 24 before killing themselves. The massacre was the deadliest school shooting in American history at the time. It has been followed by many others, including some which are believed to have been copycat attacks.
In the years since the massacre, the shooting has become a grim obsession for people known as “Columbiners.” The school also continues to receive threats, especially following prominent mass shootings.
Hours before the latest threat emerged, 2020 presidential candidate and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper met with survivors and family members of mass shootings to commemorate the anniversary of the tragedy.
*BOLO* Sol PAIS, 18 yo, white/female, 5'5" brown hair. Considered ARMED & DANGEROUS. Wanted by @jeffcosheriffco and @FBIDenver for possible threat against #Columbine, other schools. DO NOT APPROACH. Call FBI: 303-630-6227. Please RT. pic.twitter.com/ejYNQHVlcZ
— CSP Public Affairs (@CSP_News) April 16, 2019
🔴 We received a bulletin this afternoon regarding the suspect below. Our school leaders are on a heightened state of alert. Based on information we received, a LOCKOUT was not warranted in BVSD.
We are continuing to monitor the situation & will provide updates as needed. https://t.co/QvOnUEgNxv
— Boulder Valley School District (@BVSDcolorado) April 16, 2019