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By David K. Li and Pete Williams
A Florida woman with a suspicious “fascination” about the Columbine massacre and who forced numerous school Colorado closures was found dead on Wednesday, a law enforcement official told NBC News.
Police around the Mile High City had been scouring the area for Sol Pais, 18, who they say traveled from Miami to Colorado on Monday night and was armed.
FBI agents announced at 10:28 a.m. local time they were looking for Pais at the base Mount Evans, just west of Denver. Then a short time later, the FBI tweeted: “THERE IS NO LONGER A THREAT TO THE COMMUNITY” with #FindSol.
A law enforcement official confirmed to NBC News that Pais was dead.
Pais hasn’t made any specific threats, but police said she’s potentially dangerous and is obsessed with the April 20, 1999, Columbine school massacre in Littleton that left 12 students and a teacher dead.
She bought a shotgun and ammunition just days before the 20th anniversary of the shooting this week, authorities said.
Over 20 schools canceled classes on Wednesday because of the potential threat, officials said.
Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader told MSNBC on Wednesday, a short time before Pais was found, that every April brings copycat threats to Columbine. But he said Pais’ interest in the school stood out.
“We do get a number of threats each April that come up and, obviously, with Columbine having its 20-year anniversary, it perhaps heightened some of those sensitivities,” said Shrader, who was with his department back in 1999 when the mass shooting happened.
“And in terms of the decision-making process, once it was learned the general nature of some of the comments that this person had made, coupled with buying a gun and coupled with this being the Columbine week and her fascination with it … school superintendents were on a phone call late last night and they came to the conclusion that it would be best for their school districts if they closed schools today.”