‘Columbine’ teen dead after manhunt

 

The suspected Columbine massacre-obsessed teen who was wanted in Colorado for making violent threats to schools has taken her own life, according to officials.

Sol Pais, 18, was found on Wednesday morning (local time) near the Echo Lake Lodge at the base of Mount Evans in Clear Creek County, according to local news station CBS4. It's not clear if she was alive when she was located.

The FBI's office in Denver tweeted that there was no longer a threat to Colorado schools and promised more information shortly, reports the New York Post.

A woman hiking near the area said she was instructed to leave because "a naked woman matching the description with a gun was spotted in the area running through the woods," the news affiliate reported.

It comes after an all-out manhunt for Pais, whose alleged threat led the closing of Denver-area public schools as a precaution.

Doors are locked at North High School in Denver as the FBI hunted for an armed young Florida woman who was allegedly
Doors are locked at North High School in Denver as the FBI hunted for an armed young Florida woman who was allegedly "infatuated" with Columbine. Picture: AP

During the manhunt, the FBI said Pais was "infatuated" with Columbine and threatened violence ahead of Saturday's anniversary of the attack that killed 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999. The FBI described her as "extremely dangerous."

The Miami Beach high school student flew to Colorado on Monday night and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition, authorities said.

All classes and extra-curricular activities for about a half-million students were cancelled as a precaution, though sheriff's spokesman Mike Taplin said the young woman's threats were general and not specific to any school. "This has become a massive manhunt … and every law enforcement agency is participating and helping in this effort," said Dean Phillips, agent in charge of the FBI in Denver.

Authorities said Pais was spotted not far from Columbine - in the Jefferson County foothills outside Denver - in a black T-shirt, camouflage pants and black boots.

Because of the threat, Columbine and more than 20 other schools outside Denver locked their doors for nearly three hours Tuesday afternoon, and some cancelled evening activities or moved them inside.

Schools shut down on Wednesday, amid the threat.

Police take part in Active Shooter Response Training exercise at a school in Colorado. Picture: AP
Police take part in Active Shooter Response Training exercise at a school in Colorado. Picture: AP

'BAD DREAM'

Earlier, Ms Pais' dad urged his daughter to come home and end the family's "bad dream".

The woman's father, Gardi Pais, said the family hasn't heard from her since Sunday and that she may have a "mental problem," according to the Daily Mail.

"Please come home," he had pleaded to his daughter. "I think she's gonna be OK. I think maybe she has got a mental problem."

Neighbours said the young woman lived with her parents and sister in Surfside, Florida.

The dad claimed he wasn't aware of his daughter's whereabouts as authorities conducted a "massive manhunt" for the teenager.

"It's like a bad dream," Pais' father told local news station WTVJ. "We don't know, we don't have any idea."

Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold. Picture: Supplied
Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold. Picture: Supplied

 

Eric Harris carried out the massacre with his friend, Dylan Klebold. Picture: Supplied
Eric Harris carried out the massacre with his friend, Dylan Klebold. Picture: Supplied

Adam Charni, who went to school with the teenager, said Ms Pais dressed in black and kept mostly to herself. He said he was "baffled" to learn she was the person authorities in Colorado were searching for.

Another classmate, 17-year-old Drew Burnstine, said Ms Pais was a quiet, smart student who sat alone in class and "never caused problems or indicated that she wanted to harm anyone." Two teenage gunmen attacked Columbine on April 20, 1999, killing 12 classmates and a teacher before taking their own lives.

Patrick Neville, the Republican House minority leader, attended Columbine High at the time of the shooting and now has three school-age daughters.

"It wasn't easy for me to explain to my kids what was going on last night," Mr Neville said on the House floor on Wednesday.

 

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency please call 000.

 

- with the New York Post


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