Sol Pais, the 18-year-old who was obsessed with the deadly 1999 Columbine High School massacre and made “non-specific threats of violence” toward the school, was found dead today.
On the 20th anniversary of the school shooting, Denver’s city’s schools went into lockdown as authorities searched for Pais, who they believed had an “infatuation” with the event. The Florida native’s body was found today in the Denver suburb of Littleton, Colorado. Her death has been ruled a suicide.
Details of Pais’ threats were not made public, however, law enforcement stated that they were deemed credible enough to trigger the closing of 19 Denver-area school districts.
Pais, a Miami Beach Senior High School student, flew from Florida to Denver International Airport Monday night. Authorities had been able to trace most of her activities, and while they believe she legally purchased both a pump action shotgun and ammunition sometime after she landed, they don’t believe she ever managed to gain access to Columbine High School’s grounds.
According to ABC News affiliate Denver7, Pais’ body was found Wednesday morning near a trail at the bottom of Mt. Evans, putting an end to the statewide manhunt. In a statement, Sheriff Jeff Shrader said the teen died of an apparent suicide, citing the cause of death as a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Speaking to reporters before the details of his daughter’s death were released, a man identifying himself as Pais’ father said he believed his daughter may have been suffering from “mental problems.”
This news breaks as Colorado approaches the 20th anniversary of the deadly Columbine High School shooting. On April 20, 1999 students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris opened fire on their teachers and classmates, killing 13 and wounding 20, before turning their guns on themselves. At the time it was the largest school shooting in America.
Schools are set to reopen on Thursday morning with additional security measures in place. Authorities have confirmed that this week’s memorials and events honoring the lives lost at Columbine in 1999 will all take place as scheduled, but with heightened safety precautions.