Sol Pais: Woman 'infatuated' with Columbine shooting found dead after FBI manhunt

Chris Stevenson

A police manhunt is over after an armed woman said to be “infatuated” with the Columbine High School shootings was found dead.

Federal investigators said Sol Pais, 18 “made threats to commit an act of violence in the Denver metropolitan area” just days before the 20th anniversary of the attack that killed 13 people. She was considered “extremely dangerous”.

Around 500,000 pupils missed school on Wednesday, with authorities worried about the actions of Ms Pais. More than a dozen schools were placed on lockout in the Denver area on Tuesday before the call for a full closure.

Ms Pais flew from the Miami area to Colorado on Monday night and investigators think she bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition after arriving, Dean Phillips, FBI special agent in charge of the Denver field office, said at a news conference.

“She has had an infatuation with Columbine and the perpetrators of Columbine, she has made comments to that effect,” Mr Philips said.

"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 considered her to be a credible threat — certainly to the community and potentially to schools."

Ms Pais was taken to an area near Columbine, in the Jefferson County foothills around Denver “and we have been trying to find her ever since,” Mr Phillips said. While Ms Pais has not made threats against a specific school, the FBI agent said the search for her was now “a massive manhunt,” Mr Philips said on Tuesday.

She was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, camouflage trousers and black boots. Officer Marian Cruz of Surfside, Florida police confirmed that Ms Pais’ parents last saw her on Sunday and reported her missing on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Miami-Dade County Public Schools confirmed on Wednesday morning that Ms Pais is a student at Miami Beach High School.

Jackie Calzadilla said school officials are “fully assisting the FBI in their investigation.”

The Columbine shootings took place on 20 April 1999, when two teenage gunmen killed killed 12 classmates and a teacher.

Associated Press contributed to this report