Denver schools close during hunt for potential shooter: what we know

A student leaves Columbine High School late Tuesday, April 16, 2019, in Littleton, Colorado. Following a lockdown at Columbine High School and other Denver area schools, authorities say they are looking for a woman suspected of making threats.

The suspect is reportedly “armed and dangerous” and has an “infatuation” with the Columbine school shooting.

Denver-area schools are closed on Wednesday as authorities search for an “armed and dangerous” woman who reportedly has an “infatuation” with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado.

The woman, identified as 18-year-old Sol Pais, reportedly flew from Miami to Denver and “immediately” bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition, FBI agent Dean Phillips told media, according to NPR. She had allegedly “made some concerning comments in the past” and had an “infatuation” with both the Columbine shooting and the two shooters, who killed 13 people and themselves. The 20th anniversary of the shooting is Saturday.

In response to the reports, more than a dozen school districts closed. The University of Denver is now on lockout, which is less serious than a lockdown.

The situation is still developing. Here’s what we know.

What we know

  • Sol Pais, an 18-year-old white woman, allegedly flew from Miami to Denver and purchased a pump-action shotgun and some ammo. Due to her past alleged comments over Columbine, including a purported “infatuation” with the shooting and shooters, the authorities are now looking for her, FBI agent Dean Phillips told media, according to NPR.
  • Police don’t know of a specific threat to any one place, but Phillips said this is a “credible threat certainly to the community and potentially to schools.”
  • In response, Denver Public Schools, Jefferson County Public Schools (including Columbine High School), and more than a dozen other school districts in the area were closed, according to Colorado Public Radio.
  • The University of Denver tweeted, “DU is on normal schedule today. Out of abundance of caution, all campus buildings are on lock out. You will need your DU ID card to access buildings.”
  • As of Tuesday, however, Pais had not been charged with a crime.
  • Pais doesn’t have any known connections to Colorado, according to Phillips.
  • In 2019 so far, there have been nearly 90 mass shootings in the US, killing more than 110 and wounding more than 300.

What we don’t know

  • Whether the suspect intends to do anything illegal
  • Whether the suspect plans to target a certain school
  • Where the suspect is
  • The full evidence police have against the suspect
  • Whether the alleged threat is connected to the Columbine anniversary

Author: German Lopez

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