This is a developing story and will be updated as new information becomes available.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the local FBI confirmed Wednesday morning that an 18-year-old Florida woman who made unspecified threats to Denver area schools was found dead in a heavily wooded area near the base of Mt. Evans.
We can confirm that Sol Pais is deceased. We are grateful to everyone who submitted tips and to all our law enforcement partners for their efforts in keeping our community safe.
— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) April 17, 2019
According to FBI officials, Sol Pais traveled from Florida to Colorado on Monday and purchased a pump-action shotgun before making “credible threats” about schools, prompting most major school districts throughout the Front Range to go into a “lockout” on Tuesday and to cancel classes on Wednesday. According to the FBI and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, she was armed and extremely dangerous.
The woman was reportedly “infatuated” with the Columbine High School shooting, the 20th anniversary of which is on Saturday, April 20. Local authorities were alerted to her presence near Columbine High School on Monday evening, and a massive search was conducted throughout the Front Range and foothills until her body was located near Echo Lake Lodge.
Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said at a press conference Wednesday morning that the FBI confirmed their team found her deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound.
According to John McDonald, executive director of Jefferson County School District’s school safety department, the woman traveled from Florida to Denver with the intention to do harm, but they didn’t believe she made it onto the Columbine campus. “I’m very thankful this threat is over,” McDonald said at the press conference. “But we know that Columbine continues to attract people from all over the world. If I have any message, we are not a place to come visit if you’re not a student. We are not a tourist attraction.”
According to Jefferson County Superintendent Jason Glass, he does not think this is the last time a situation like this might occur. “We are developing systems and procedures of how we will react to situations like this in the future,” he said.
Had she been found alive, it’s unclear what charges the 18-year-old might have faced in connection with the threats she allegedly made, but law enforcement officers had been instructed to detain her for mental health evaluation. Details of her activity while in Colorado—including how she traveled and managed to purchase a firearm—have not been released. Shrader said at the press conference that she purchased the shotgun legally from a gun shop in Littleton near Columbine High School, though he did not say from which shop in particular.
Schools will reopen tomorrow morning and all weekend activities in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting will go on as planned.