By

Daniel Uria and Darryl Coote

Authorities in Colorado are searching for Sol Pais, 18, a woman who is armed and considered to be “extremely dangerous” after making statements deemed threatening to schools. Photo courtesy Jeffco Sheriff/Twitter
April 16 (UPI) — Authorities in Colorado conducted a “massive manhunt” for an armed woman in connection with threats that led to lockouts at dozens of schools in the state on Tuesday, including Columbine High School, the site of a mass shooting nearly two decades ago.

FBI Denver and the Jefferson County Sheriff sought help from the public in obtaining information regarding Sol Pais, 18, a woman who traveled to Colorado from Miami, made threats and was considered to be “extremely dangerous.”

“She is a white female, 18 years old, approximately 5’5″ in height with brown hair. She was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, camouflage pants and black boots. She was last seen in the foothills of Jefferson County,” the sheriff’s office said.

An alert sent out by Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task force stated that Pais is “infatuated” with the Columbine school shooting in which gunmen killed 12 students and one teacher 20 years ago and was “attempting to buy firearms,” The Denver Channel reported.

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In a press conference Tuesday evening, Dean Phillips of the Denver FBI said Pais had made “concerning comments” in the past but did not make any direct threats to schools in the area.

“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 consider her to be a credible threat, certainly to the community and potentially to schools,” he said.

Philips said Pais was believed to be in possession of a pump-action shotgun she purchased after arriving in Colorado, the Denver Post reported.

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“This has become a massive manhunt,” he said.

Columbine High School was among about 20 schools in the state that were placed on lockout.

“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,” the Colorado Department of Education tweeted.

Then late Tuesday, the Colorado Department of Education announced that all Denver-area school districts would be closed for Wednesday due to the ongoing search for Pais.

Jeffco Public Schools said the cancelations include all afternoon activities and athletic competitions.

“In collaboration with other Denver-metro area school districts, all Jeffco Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday, April 17, due to the ongoing safety concern,” the school district said via Twitter. “All facilities and programs are closed for the day — no employees are to report.”

Jeffco Public Schools for Tuesday had continued with all after-school activities, sports and practices as scheduled except for at Columbine, where all such activities were canceled, and Denver Public Schools said its schools planned to move after-school activities inside.

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