Advertisement

Woman 'infatuated' with Columbine High School massacre hunted by FBI days before 20th anniversary

A woman described as "infatuated" with the 1999 Columbine High School massacre is being hunted by the FBI and is considered an extreme threat, Colorado police have said.

Authorities said Tuesday that they are looking for a young woman who bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition and made threats just days before the 20th anniversary of the attack that killed 13 people.

The undisclosed threats led Columbine and several other high schools outside Denver to lock their doors on Tuesday for nearly three hours.

All students were safe, school officials said.

Sol Pais is being hunted by the FBI. (AP)
Sol Pais is being hunted by the FBI. (AP)

Sol Pais, 18, flew to Denver from Miami and before buying the weapon, Dean Phillips, special agent in charge of the FBI in Denver, said.

She was last seen in the foothills west of Denver, was considered armed and extremely dangerous and should not be approached, he said, adding: "We consider her a credible threat to the community."

The FBI's Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force issued a notice Tuesday describing Ms Pais as "infatuated with (the) Columbine school shooting."

The alert also said police who come into contact with her should detain her and evaluate her mental health.

Students at William Hackett Middle School have their bags checked and pass through metal detectors on the first day of school, nearly 20 years since the Columbine school massacre. (AP)
Students at William Hackett Middle School have their bags checked and pass through metal detectors on the first day of school, nearly 20 years since the Columbine school massacre. (AP)

Mr Phillips said the threats she made were general, not specific to any school, but her reported verbal comments to others made her a credible threat.

"She has made some concerning comments in the past ... and because of that we were concerned," he said.

FBI agents, along with Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies and Colorado state troopers, have searched for her, including hunting through rural Jefferson County foothills throughout the day and have published her name and photo in local media.

"We are still chasing leads," Mr Phillips said.

Bob Crazy Bear of Thornton says a prayer on April 21, 1999 outside a memorial for the victims of the Columbine High School massacre. (AFP/Getty Images)
Bob Crazy Bear of Thornton says a prayer on April 21, 1999 outside a memorial for the victims of the Columbine High School massacre. (AFP/Getty Images)

Ms Pais has not been charged with any crime, but Mr Phillips said: "our priority is to find miss Pais."

The alert came four days before the 20th anniversary of the Columbine tragedy, in which two heavily armed teen boys stormed their high school in Littleton, a Denver suburb, and fatally shot 12 classmates and a teacher before killing themselves.

At the time it was the deadliest school shooting in US history.

On Tuesday, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office placed Columbine and 21 surrounding schools under a security "lockout," allowing activities inside to continue as usual but restricting entry and exit at the schools.

The Colorado Department of Public Safety later alerted schools throughout the Denver metropolitan area to the threat, recommending they conduct a "controlled release" of students from classes in the afternoon.