Schools in the US city of Denver closed Wednesday amid fears that an armed teenager obsessed with the Columbine High School massacre 20 years ago poses a “credible threat . ” US authorities have mounted a massive search for Sol Pais , 18 , who travelled from Florida to Colorado where she bought a pump
Schools in the US city of Denver closed Wednesday amid fears that an armed teenager obsessed with the Columbine High School massacre 20 years ago poses a “credible threat . ”
US authorities have mounted a massive search for Sol Pais , 18 , who travelled from Florida to Colorado where she bought a pump – action shotgun and ammunition and was last seen in the foothills around Denver .
“ She is armed and considered to be extremely dangerous , ” the Jefferson County sheriff ’ s office said.
Pais was not even born when two Columbine students launched their attack with an assortment of guns and bags – full of pipe bombs , killing 12 fellow students and a teacher before taking their own lives .
Security fears have soared because Saturday is the 20th anniversary of what at the time was the deadliest school shooting in US history , setting off an era of mass shootings in US schools and other public venues .
“ Metro area school districts will be closed on Wednesday, April 17 due to ongoing safety concerns , ” the Colorado Department of Education announced on its Twitter account .
That was a step up from Tuesday when it put Denver area schools on lockdown following an alert from the FBI and increased security .
Authorities have posted pictures of Pais , her unsmiling visage framed by shoulder – length brown hair.
She was described as five foot, five inches (1 . 65 meters ) tall , and last seen wearing a black T – shirt , camouflage pants and black boots .
– ‘ An infatuation’ –
Dean Phillips , the special agent in charge of the FBI ’s Denver office, said Pais had made comments in the past that expressed “ an infatuation ” with the Columbine massacre and its perpetrators .
Concern mounted after investigators learned that upon her arrival at Denver ’ s international airport from Miami on Monday, Pais went to a store where she bought a pump- action shotgun and some ammunition .
She was last seen on Monday night in the foothill areas around Denver , he said .
“ We have been trying to find her ever since, ” Phillips told a news conference late Tuesday in Denver .
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He said Pais was considered a “credible threat” but noted the FBI had no information of a specific threat either to Columbine or any other school .
“ She has had an infatuation with Columbine , with the perpetrators of Columbine, she has made comments to that effect , but she hasn’ t identified a specific threat to a specific school , ” Phillips said.
The Miami Herald reported that Pais lived in Surfside , Florida and that her parents had reported her missing Monday night .
Her father told the newspaper he thought “maybe she ’ s got a mental problem , ” but added : “ I think she ’ s gonna be OK . ”
Every law enforcement agency in the state is taking part in the hunt for the teen , and investigators are chasing down “a significant number of leads to identify and locate Ms Pais , ” Phillips said.
Columbine has since been followed by even deadlier school shootings — at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg , Virginia in April 2007 ; Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton , Connecticut December 2012; and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February 2018.