Schools across Denver area closed as “massive manhunt” continues for armed woman “infatuated with Columbine”

Districts across the Denver metro area ordered their schools closed Wednesday as the FBI and local police continue a “massive manhunt” for an 18-year-old Florida woman they say is “infatuated with Columbine” and who purchased a shotgun shortly after arriving in Colorado this week.

Sol Pais
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office via Facebook

Sol Pais

Most major Denver-area school districts — and others across the Front Range — have canceled classes Wednesday, including Denver Public Schools, Douglas County School District, Aurora Public Schools and Jeffco Public Schools, home to Columbine High School, which was on lockout on Tuesday along with more than 20 other schools in that district over “credible threats.”

Police and federal authorities are searching for Sol Pais, 18, of Surfside, Florida, who traveled to Colorado from Miami on Monday night. FBI officials say she bought a pump-action shotgun as well as ammunition after leaving Denver International Airport.

“This has become a massive manhunt,” said Dean Phillips, special agent in charge of the Denver FBI office, during a Tuesday night news conference.

Authorities confirmed it was Pais’s presence that triggered lockouts Tuesday — that’s when outer doors are bolted, but classes continue as normal — first at Columbine and other Jefferson County institutions in the late morning, then dozens of other schools across the wider metro area as the Colorado Department of Education recommended all Denver-area schools immediately conduct lockouts and perform controlled releases of students.

“Last night, Sol Pais traveled to Colorado and made threats in the Denver metropolitan area,” Jefferson County sheriff’s officials wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. “She is armed and considered to be extremely dangerous.”

The threats came just days before Saturday’s 20th anniversary of the Columbine massacre, during which two students shot and killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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