Young woman 'infatuated' with Columbine is found dead

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) — 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."

Images from the scene:

5 PHOTOS
Scene around Denver area schools after Sol Pais' threats
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Scene around Denver area schools after Sol Pais' threats
This combination of undated photos released by the Jefferson County, Colo., Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 shows Sol Pais. On Tuesday authorities said they are looking pais, suspected of making threats on Columbine High School, just days before the 20th anniversary of a mass shooting that killed 13 people. (Jefferson County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Police patrol outside a locked Columbine High School on April 17, 2019 in Littleton, Colorado, as all Denver-area schools were evacuated and classes cancelled after an active threat to the area made by Sol Pais. - A US teenager has been found dead after a massive search by authorities who feared she posed a threat because of an obsession with the Columbine High School massacre, US media reported. Sol Pais, 18, had traveled on Monday from Miami to Denver where she bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition before disappearing in the foothills around the city.US media reported police found her body at the base of Mount Evans, near Denver.'There is no longer a threat to the community,' the FBI's Denver office said on its Twitter account. (Photo by Chet Strange / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHET STRANGE/AFP/Getty Images)
Police patrol outside Columbine High School on April 17, 2019 in Littleton, Colorado, as all Denver-area schools were evacuated and classes cancelled after an active threat to the area made by Sol Pais. - A US teenager has been found dead after a massive search by authorities who feared she posed a threat because of an obsession with the Columbine High School massacre, US media reported. Sol Pais, 18, had traveled on Monday from Miami to Denver where she bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition before disappearing in the foothills around the city.US media reported police found her body at the base of Mount Evans, near Denver.'There is no longer a threat to the community,' the FBI's Denver office said on its Twitter account. (Photo by Chet Strange / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHET STRANGE/AFP/Getty Images)
A town of Surfside, Fla., police officer stands guard in front of the home of Sol Pais, Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Surfside, Fla. FBI agents looking for Sol Pais, a young Florida woman accused of threatening violence in the Denver area ahead of the 20th anniversary of Columbine, said Wednesday she is "no longer a threat to the community." There was no immediate explanation from the FBI. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Visitors pay their respects at the Columbine shooting memorial near Columbine High School on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 in Littleton, Colorado. All Denver-area schools were evacuated and classes cancelled after an active threat to the area made by Sol Pais. - A teenager has been found dead after a massive search by authorities who feared she posed a threat because of an obsession with the Columbine High School massacre, US media reported. Sol Pais, 18, had traveled on Monday, April 15, 2019 from Miami to Denver where she bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition before disappearing in the foothills around the city. US media reported police found her body at the base of Mount Evans, near Denver. 'There is no longer a threat to the community,' the FBI's Denver office said on its Twitter account. (Photo by Chet Strange / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHET STRANGE/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Miami Beach high school student flew to Colorado on Monday night and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition, authorities said.

Agents had focused the search around the base of Mount Evans, a popular recreational area about 60 miles southwest of Denver.

All classes and extracurricular activities for about a half-million students were canceled 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 last seen not far from Columbine — in the Jefferson County foothills outside Denver — in a black T-shirt, camouflage pants and black boots.

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

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said federal, state and local law enforcement were "dedicating all of their resources to locate this dangerous individual."

"We know that there is a lot of anxiety right now in Colorado," Polis said in a statement.

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

Pais' parents last saw her on Sunday and reported her missing to Florida authorities on Monday night, police in Surfside, Florida, said.

Messages left by The Associated Press at two numbers listed for Pais' relatives in Florida were not immediately returned, while another number was disconnected.

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."

Two teenage gunmen attacked Columbine on April 20, 1999, killing 12 classmates and a teacher before taking their own lives.

State Rep. Patrick Neville, the Republican House minority leader, was a 15-year-old sophomore at 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," Neville said on the House floor Wednesday.

RELATED: 25 school shootings since Columbine

25 PHOTOS
25 fatal school shootings since Columbine
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25 fatal school shootings since Columbine

April 20, 1999 - Columbine High School 

Photo Credit: Reuters

Nov. 20, 1999 - Deming Middle School, New Mexico 

(photo by Joe Raedle)

 February 29, 2000 - Buell Elementary School, Michigan 

Photo Credit: Reuters 

May 26, 2000 - Lake Worth Middle School, Florida 

Photo Credit: Reuters 

March 5, 2001 - Santana High School, California 

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake MB/RCS

April 25, 2003 - Red Lion Area Junior High School, Pennsylvania

Photo Credit: Reuters 

September 24, 2003 - Rocori High School, Minnesota 

Photo Credit: Getty 

March 21, 2005. Red Lake High School, Minnesota

REUTERS/John Gress 

November 8, 2005 - Campbell County Comprehensive High School, Tennessee 

Photo Credit: Getty 

 Aug. 24, 2006 - Essex Elementary School, Vermont

 Photo Credit: Getty 

September 29, 2006 - Weston High School, Wisconsin 

(Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

October 2, 2006 - West Nickel Mines School, Pennsylvania 

(Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

January 5, 2011 - Millard South High School, Nebraska 

Photo Credit: Getty

February 27, 2012 - Chardon High School, Ohio

REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk 

December 14, 2012 - Sandy Hook Elementary, Connecticut 

 (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

October 21, 2013 - Sparks Middle School, Nevada. 

(Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images)

December 13, 2013 -  Arapahoe High School, Colorado

REUTERS/Rick Wilking 

June 10, 2014  - Reynolds High School, Oregon

(Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

October 24, 2014 -  Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Washington

REUTERS/Jason 

February 12, 2016 - Independence High School, Arizona 

Photo Credit: Getty 

September 28, 2016 - Townville Elementary, South Carolina

(Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

April 10, 2017 - North Park Elementary School, California 

 (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

September 13, 2017 - Freeman High School, Washington

Photo Credit: Getty 

January 23, 2018 - Marshall County High School, Kentucky

REUTERS/Harrison McClary

February 14, 2018 - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Associated Press writers Ellis Rua in Miami Beach, Florida and James Anderson and Thomas Peipert in Denver contributed to this report.

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