Editor's note: Sol Pais has been reported to have died. Get more information in our post "Columbine Threat Suspect Sol Pais Reportedly Dead." Prior to this development, school districts throughout the Denver-metro area closed on the 17th, when the search for Pais was still active. Additional detail can be found in our posts "Columbine Threat Leads to School Closures in 16 Denver-Area Districts" and "What We Know About Columbine Threat Suspect Sol Pais." Continue for our previous coverage.
A short time ago, the Colorado Department of Education advised all schools in metro Denver to institute lockout protocols because of a threat against multiple Jefferson County schools, including Columbine High School, where a mass shooting took place twenty years ago this week.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office subsequently sent out an alert about a person of interest in the case: Sol Pais, an eighteen-year-old woman (from Florida, a knowledgeable source tells us) who is known by the FBI. Pais is thought to be obsessed with Columbine and recently flew to Colorado in a trip apparently timed to what Safe2Tell founder Susan Payne referred to in a post we published this morning as a "day of remembrance" for the April 20, 1999, attack, which killed twelve students and a teacher. Payne prefers not to use the word "anniversary," which she associates with celebrations.
At 9:20 a.m. this morning, when all was calm, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office tweeted out the photo below of the Columbine memorial in association with a roster of events associated with the tragic remembrance scheduled for this week.
Then, at 12:20 p.m., Jefferson County Schools tweeted this: "We have placed #ColumbineHighSchool, #LeawoodElementary, @bhelementaryco and all mountain schools on lockout. No further information at this time. Lockout means biz as usual inside buildings, entry/exit restricted."
Ten minutes later, the district followed with more information: "To clarify, mountain schools include Evergreen High, Evergreen Middle, Conifer High, West Jeff Middle, West Jeff Elementary, Bergens, Wilmot Elementary, Marshdale Elementary, Elk Creek Elementary, Ralston Elementary, Rocky Mountain Academy, Parmalee Elementary."
Around two hours later, at 2:28 p.m., came this more reassuring message: "We have an update regarding the multiple lockouts this afternoon. All students and staff are safe. Students will be released from schools normally; buses will be running on normal schedule. We will have extra safety and security staff on site at all schools affected."
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Also shared was a more complete list of the Jeffco schools impacted: "Bergens, Blue Heron, Columbine HS, Conifer HS, Dutch Creek, Elk Creek, Evergreen HS, Evergreen Middle, Governor’s Ranch, Ken Caryl Middle, Leawood, Marshdale, Mt. Evans, Normandy, Parmalee, Ralston, Rocky Mtn Acad of Egreen, West Jeff Elementary, West Jeff MS, Wilmot, Windy Peak, Woodrow Wilson West."
But if that seemed like the end of the anxiety, it wasn't. At 2:48 p.m., the Colorado Department of Education sent out this tweet: "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. More info to come."
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has now posted the following on Facebook:
Have You Seen this Woman?
The FBI Denver Division and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office are asking for the public’s help regarding a potential credible threat in the Denver metropolitan area.
Last night Sol Pais traveled to Colorado and made threats in the Denver metropolitan area. She is armed and 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.
Please call the FBI tipline at (303) 630-6227 where your call will be answered immediately if you have seen this individual or have information on her whereabouts. Please do not approach her as she is considered armed and dangerous.