Columbine threat by woman with gun shuts Denver-area schools
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This combination of undated photos released by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office shows Sol Pais. Investigators had discovered that she was infatuated with the Columbine shooting. Pais, who was from Miami, likely killed herself last week on Mount Evans.

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A Florida teen accused of threatening schools in the metro area the week of the the 20th anniversary of the Columbine tragedy was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday morning.

Sol Pais, 18, flew to the city and bought a gun after becoming "infatuated" with the mass shooting that killed 12 students and a teacher April 20, 1999. The FBI said she is "considered to be extremely dangerous." She was last seen near Columbine — in the foothills of Jefferson County — wearing a black T-shirt, camouflage pants and black boots.

- Pais is from a small oceanside town in southern Florida called Surfside, a heavily Brazilian community with a household income lower than the national median. She attended Miami Beach Senior High School, where she was enrolled in AP and honors classes, the Miami Herald reported. Her classmates described her as "smart and unassuming, if socially awkward at times." 

“She didn’t seem any type of way,” Justin Norris, 18, a senior said to the Herald. “She was just bad at starting conversations.”

- Her family reported her missing Monday night. The case was turned over from Surfside police to Miami Beach officers, who found her "deeply disturbed" online postings and notified the FBI, the Herald reported. With records of her boarding a plane to Colorado, the manhunt began.

The situation is "like a bad dream," her father told NBC 6 in South Florida. "We don't know, we don't have any idea," he said to the TV station.

- Pais' father also believes she has a mental problem. A blog by a person identified as Sol Pais is "replete with journal entries dripping with angst and drawings of guns," the Herald wrote.

“I am the face of loneliness and misery,” the blog says.

- Pais also may be behind a series of posts on the National Gun Forum. Under the same screen name as the blog, the person asked how they could buy a shotgun in Colorado.

“The problem is i have no friends in FL who are into guns like me so it’s not as fun having to do all of this alone,” according to one post found by the Herald.

- Pais turned 18 in February, according to public records, and has no apparent adult criminal history.

- In Colorado, a non-resident over the age of 18 is allowed to purchase a long gun — a shotgun or rifle — from a federally licensed firearm dealer pending a background check. Private sellers do not require background checks.

Only those with a valid Colorado ID can purchase a handgun.

The controversial "red flag" bill was signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis Friday but will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2020. Once active, it would allow a family member or law enforcement official to petition a court for a temporary “extreme risk protection order” if they can show a person poses a significant risk to themselves or others by owning a gun.

- Jefferson County Sheriff's spokesman Mike Taplin said the threats she made were general and not specific to any school.

- All schools in the Denver area were urged to tighten security because the threat was deemed "credible and general," said Patricia Billinger, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Safety. Columbine and more than 20 other schools outside Denver lock their doors for nearly three hours Tuesday afternoon before Wednesday's complete closures were announced.

Twitter: @lizmforster

Phone: 636-0193

Liz Forster is a general assignment reporter with a focus on environment and public safety. She is a Colorado College graduate, avid hiker and skier, and sweet potato enthusiast. Liz joined The Gazette in June 2017.

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