Miami Beach

South Florida teen wanted for ‘credible threat’ to Columbine, other schools, police say

An 18-year-old woman from South Florida is wanted by the FBI and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office after making what investigators are calling a “credible threat” Tuesday to Columbine High School and other Denver-area schools as the 20th anniversary of the Colorado mass school shooting approaches.

“She is armed and considered to be extremely dangerous,” the sheriff’s department said Tuesday of Sol Pais. The FBI said she was “infatuated with [the] Columbine school shooting.”

Colorado school officials have shut down metro area schools on Wednesday.

Pais was reported missing by her parents Monday night in Surfside, Sgt. Marian Cruz, a spokeswoman for the Surfside Police Department, confirmed Tuesday night.

Around 8:20 p.m., FBI agents entered her home in the 500 block of 90th Street in Surfside.

A man who answered the door at the home Tuesday night encouraged Pais to return home. Before law enforcement authorities arrived, the man identified himself as the woman’s father.

He said he lost contact with his daughter Sunday.

“I think maybe she’s got a mental problem,” he said. “I think she’s gonna be OK.”

The Paises’ next-door neighbor, a woman named Kristen, said she had lived in Surfside for 16 years and next door to the Paises for the last two. The woman, who declined to give her last name, said Pais was a senior at Miami Beach High and had taken the school bus with her son during the past school year.

“She was to herself,” the woman said. “The parents are very sweet.”

Earlier Tuesday, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said Pais had traveled to Colorado Monday night and “made threats in the Denver metropolitan area.” She tried to buy firearms, authorities said.

The threats led Columbine and several other high schools outside Denver to lock all their outside doors so no one could enter. All students were safe, school officials said.

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

Sheriff’s spokesman Mike Taplin told the Associated Press the threats she made were general, not specific to any school.

The Denver Post reported that a call to Pais’ parents’ Surfside home was interrupted by an FBI agent who said he was interviewing them.

FBI Denver Field Office spokeswoman Amy Meyer would not confirm or deny where Pais was from, citing internal policy made out of respect for the suspect’s family members.

The threats come four days before the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High April 20, 1999, mass shooting, which left 12 students and one teacher dead. Two seniors at the school — Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold — opened fire and killed 13 people before killing themselves.

Pais, according to the sheriff’s office, was last seen in the foothills of Jefferson County.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI tipline at 303-630-6227.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.
Martin Vassolo covers the politics and government of Miami Beach for the Miami Herald. He began working for the Herald in January 2018 after attending the University of Florida, where he served as the editor-in-chief of The Independent Florida Alligator. Previously, he was a general assignment reporter on the Herald’s metro desk and a political reporting intern.