FBI: "No longer a threat to the community"

Woman sought as a potential danger to schools found dead

Posted

UPDATE:  The FBI Denver office sent out a social media release announcing that the threat to the community, posed by an armed individual who had made school-related threats, has ended.

FBI officials had confirmed earlier reports that they were conducting investigative activity near the base of Mount Evans in Clear Creek County.

At an 11:30 a.m. press conference by Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Schrader said that the FBI had confirmed, "they have found Miss Pais, apparently deceased of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

MORE: Jefferson County officials respond to school threat incident

Metro Denver school districts, including the Adams Five Star, Denver Public Schools, Douglas County, Cherry Creek, Englewood, Littleton Public Schools and Jefferson County districts, will be closed Wednesday, April 17 in light of the potential threat. 

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the FBI have asked for the public's help in locating an 18-year-old making threats of school violence, triggering schools metro-wide to take extra precautions the afternoon of April 16.

Sol Pais is described by the sheriff's department as being a "credible threat" to school safety.

Schools on lockout

Shortly after noon on April 16, multiple Jefferson County School District schools were placed on lockout — meaning business as usual within buildings but all access in and out of school buildings is limited.

According to a press release by the school district, all affected schools were dismissed at the regular time. All after-school activities, sports, and practices were still scheduled to occur, except for Columbine High School where all such activities were canceled.

"And all those schools will have some more security during dismissal," according to Jefferson County Sheriff's Department spokesman Mike Taplin.

Parents of elementary-aged children who typically walk home from the affected schools were asked to make other arrangements for transportation.

The school threat comes just days before the 20th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, which claimed the lives of 13 victims.

MORE: Hard lessons learned from Columbine in Jeffco

About 3 p.m.  April 16 the FBI and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office announced to the public that they were seeking Pais, and that she was the "credible threat" behind the earlier school lockdowns.

The Colorado Department of Education released a statement at 3 p.m., recommending all schools in the Denver metro area conduct a lockout, and use controlled release procedures as schools end for the day. Many area districts, including Douglas County,  Denver Public Schools and Westminster Public Schools complied.

The Department of Education later decided with district leaders and law enforcement officials to close all schools in the Denver metro area for April 17, as a safety precaution.

Investigation

The FBI and Jefferson County Sheriff's Department held a press conference on the situation at 9:30 p.m. April 16 to explain more about Pais and the nature of the threat.

According to FBI Denver Special Agent In Charge Dean Phillips, the FBI branch in Miami notified local law enforcement of Pais as a potential threat the morning of April 16.

Phillips said agents investigated and confirmed that Pais flew to Denver from  the Miami area. She bought a pump-action shotgun and was last seen the evening of April 15 in the foothills area of Jefferson County.

Phillis said while Pais has not made a specific threat to a school, "she's expressed an infatuation with Columbine and with the perpetrators."  

"I know that  this opens a wound," said Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Schrader, who also spoke at the press conference. "Especially on this anniversary week for those families who were most deeply impacted."

Law enforcement officials said they were following up on multiple leads to try to find and detain Pais, though they said there currently were not charges filed against her.

She is described as being approximately 5'5" in height, with brown hair. Pais was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, camouflage pants, and black boots, in the vicinity of the foothills of Jefferson County.

Call the FBI tipline at (303) 630-6227, or email tips to DenverFBItips@fbi.gov if you have seen this individual or have information on her whereabouts. Law enforcement cautions to not approach her as they consider her armed and dangerous.

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