ShareThis Page
Coroner: Woman obsessed with Columbine died before search | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Coroner: Woman obsessed with Columbine died before search

Associated Press
1102463_web1_1102463-0a6671edc51347aaa1636fc6652e4fb0
AP
In this April 17, 2019, file photo, a patrol car is parked in front of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., where two student killed 12 classmates and a teacher in 1999. A coroner says Sol Pais, a Florida teenager obsessed with the Columbine school shooting, had already killed herself by the time authorities launched a manhunt for her after learning that she had traveled to Colorado just days before the 20th anniversary of the massacre, a coroner’s report said Wednesday, May 1.
1102463_web1_1102463-08c706484b7e426980091bd213e3018c
AP
In this July 2018, file photo, provided by Adrianna Pete shows her friend Sol Pais in Ann Arbor, Mich. A coroner says Pais, Florida teenager obsessed with the Columbine school shooting, had already killed herself by the time authorities launched a manhunt for her after learning that she had traveled to Colorado just days before the 20th anniversary of the massacre, a coroner’s report said Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

DENVER — A Florida teenager obsessed with the Columbine school shooting had already killed herself by the time authorities launched a manhunt for her after learning that she had traveled to Colorado just days before the 20th anniversary of the massacre, a coroner’s report said Wednesday.

An autopsy summary by the Clear Creek County coroner estimated that 18-year-old Sol Pais likely died on April 15 — the day authorities said she flew to Denver from Miami. The FBI’s Denver office said it learned of Pais’ travel the following morning. Agents also learned the day after she died that Pais had gone directly to a gun store from the airport and purchased a shotgun and ammunition.

Pais was already dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound by the time agents began retracing her steps, according to the coroner’s initial autopsy findings.

Chief Deputy Coroner Harriet Hamilton said Wednesday that the office is awaiting test results before producing a final autopsy report.

The gun purchase and other warning signs, including Pais’ past conversations about the 1999 Columbine shooting, led the FBI and local law enforcement to consider the young woman a potential threat to schools and issue a public warning about her, authorities have said.

Columbine and other schools tightened security the afternoon of April 16 and closed entirely on April 17 when authorities still had not located Pais. She never threatened a specific school, authorities said.

Her body was found on April 17 in the foothills west of Denver. Authorities knew Pais was last seen in the area on April 15 but it was unclear when she killed herself until the coroner’s report Wednesday.

“Based on the information we had at the time, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, in conjunction with school districts in the Denver Metro area, took the necessary steps to ensure our communities, and particularly our students, stayed safe until there was no longer a threat,” Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said in a statement.

An FBI spokeswoman declined comment Wednesday.

The search for Pais came amid preparations for memorial events marking the Columbine shooting. Two teenage gunmen killed 12 classmates and a teacher at the high school in Denver’s suburbs before killing themselves.

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.