Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Heightened alert after threat locks down Columbine

Authorities Searching for Woman After Lockdown at Colorado Schools FBI hunts woman 'infatuated' with Columbine massacre who threatened school
Jeannette Daniel | 17 April, 2019, 13:33

Officials did not provide further details about the threats or say where she was from.

She made "credible" - but unspecific - threats after traveling from Miami to Denver on Monday night, and is considered unsafe, said Dean Phillips, the special agent in charge of the local Federal Bureau of Investigation office.

She was last spotted wearing camouflage trousers, a black t-shirt and black boots, in the foothills of Jefferson County, the sheriff's office said. The FBI and other authorities are looking for an 18-year-old woman who is believed to be connected to the lockouts and who is considered armed and unsafe, according to the FBI.

Since April 20, 1999, when two gunmen stormed Columbine, killing 13 people and wounding 24, threats of violence have become a painful fact of everyday life for the high school and the highly trained security team tasked with keeping it safe.

The safety unit run by Jefferson County Public Schools is considered one of the most sophisticated school security systems in the country.

Earlier Tuesday, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office issued a warning, calling the woman they identified as Sol Pais, 18 of Florida, as "extremely risky".

They didn't say where she traveled from.

She then bought a pump-action shotgun "immediately" upon arriving in Colorado.

The FBI is leading the investigation, said Mike Taplin, a spokesman for the sheriff's department.

More news: Dog Rescued Swimming 220 KM Off Thailand

Columbine High School principal Scott Christy, right, joins an officer in watching as students leave the school late Tuesday, April 16, 2019, in Littleton, Colo.

Junior David Eaton told the newspaper that he was in a math class when the school announced the lockout.

"All facilities and programs are closed for the day - no employees are to report", Jefferson County Public Schools posted on Twitter, saying they made the decision "in collaboration with other Denver-metro area school districts".

"Please do not approach her as she is considered armed and risky", the sheriff's office said.

Authorities said they have not identified any connections she has with Colorado and most of her threats were spoken.

All schools in the Denver vicinity 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. "Children are safe. Deputies are at the schools".

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.

Columbine survivors acknowledge how different things are for their own kids twenty years after they experienced the horror of gunfire in the classroom.

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