A Florida woman whose comments about the Columbine High School shooting so much alarmed authorities in Colorado that they shut down schools serving half a million children, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound near Echo Lake in Colorado.
A young Florida woman who traveled to Colorado and bought a shotgun for what authorities feared would be a Columbine-inspired attack just days ahead of the 20th anniversary was found dead Wednesday in an apparent suicide after a nearly 24-hour manhunt.
Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said 18-year-old Sol Pais was discovered by the FBI with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The manhunt had led to the closing of Denver-area schools as a precaution.
During the manhunt, the FBI said Pais was “infatuated” with Columbine and made threats ahead of Saturday’s anniversary of the attack that killed 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999. The FBI described her “extremely dangerous.”
Descriptions of Pais by her high school classmates echo those made by friends of other mass killers:
Adam Charni, a Miami Beach High School senior, said 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 junior Drew Burnstine, said Pais was a quiet, smart student who sat alone in class and “never caused problems or indicated that she wanted to harm anyone.”
It should be noted in passing that no gun control measure proposed or imagined would have stopped Pais if she had been determined to carry out her threats.
It may sound like school officials in Colorado overreacted to the threat. But as it turns out, they took the appropriate precautions. The FBI has not released much information about the specifics of Pais’ threats, but it’s a good thing they took them seriously.