The armed woman whose infatuation with the Columbine mass shooting prompted Denver-area schools to close on Wednesday has been found dead, authorities say.
Just days before the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, police launched what an FBI official called a “massive manhunt” for 18-year-old Sol Pais, who authorities say traveled from Miami to Colorado on Monday with harmful intentions. Per law enforcement, Pais was armed and obsessed with the school shooting, and had made a “credible threat,” though not “isolated to one school or individual.” Therefore, more than a dozen schools went on lockdown on Tuesday, and nearly 20 school districts — including Jefferson County Public Schools, in which Columbine falls — closed today.
But, on early Wednesday afternoon, Governor Jared Polis tweeted that Pais had been found dead.
“As confirmed by the FBI, Sol Pais has been found deceased and the potential threat is over,” he tweeted. “It’s times like these that help us appreciate friendship, family, and community. Today, parents across Colorado – including me - are hugging their children a little tighter.”
The specific type of threat that Pais posed — directed at the site of a mass casualty, and often near the incident’s anniversary — is not unprecedented. At a briefing on Tuesday night, Jefferson County sheriff Jeff Shrader said, “It’s certainly not the first threat we’ve had that involves Columbine High School.” And, just last year, Sandy Hook had to evacuate due to a bomb threat on the sixth anniversary of its tragic school shooting, in which 20 children and six adults were murdered.
Per NBC News, Pais may have struggled with suicide ideation. In a journal that appears to have belonged to her (though law enforcement has not confirmed this), the writer describes feeling miserable and suicidal between June 2018 through March 30, 2019; it also features a drawing of Columbine gunman Dylan Klebold.
“Had a dream last night about the future and it was eye opening,” one entry reads. “Was only a week away from the day and I had my [expletive] shotgun…”
This story will be updated as details emerge.