Woman sought amid ‘lockout’ of Colorado schools — including Columbine — before shooting anniversary
The Denver office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) are seeking the public’s help regarding a potential threat posed by Sol Pais, an 18-year-old woman who allegedly travelled to Colorado on Monday night and made threats.
She’s being sought amid a “lockout” at more than 20 Colorado schools including Columbine, which in four days will reach the 20th anniversary of the April 1999 massacre in which two gunmen entered the school and killed 12 students and a teacher.
Authorities in Colorado had said they were investigating an unspecified “credible threat.”
WATCH: Dec. 13, 2018 — Columbine High School put on lockout, no threat found: Officials
Pais, whom the JCSO said was armed and “considered to be extremely dangerous,” was described as a white female, 5’5″ tall, with brown hair.
She was last spotted wearing camouflage pants, a black t-shirt and black boots, in the foothills of Jefferson County, the sheriff’s office said.
Anyone who sees her or has information about her is asked to call the FBI tipline.
The public is encouraged not to approach her if anyone sees her.
Tuesday’s lockout, less serious than a public safety “lockdown,” means that activities inside the schools may continue as usual but entry and exit is restricted, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter.
Officers were “investigating what appears to be a credible threat possibly involving the schools,” the sheriff’s department said on Twitter, adding that students were safe and additional deputies were dispatched to the schools.
The nature and circumstances of the threat were not immediately disclosed. But a sheriff’s office spokesman, Mike Taplin, said the anniversary of the Columbine mass shooting was not a “direct” factor.
Jefferson County Public Schools tweeted a list of 22 elementary, middle and high schools placed under lockout, which was to remain in effect until normal release time. All after-school activities, including sports and practices, will go on as scheduled, except at Columbine, where they were canceled as a precaution, the district said.
Security alerts and safety drills have become commonplace in public schools across the United States in the years since the Columbine shooting as campus gun violence has grown more frequent.
In Denver public schools alone, there have been 22 lockdowns and 294 lockouts over the past two academic years, according to school data cited by the Denver Post.
© 2019 Thomson Reuters