SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

Website thought connected to woman 'infatuated' with Columbine massacre draws FBI attention

CNN's Brooke Baldwin speaks with former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole about the obsession some people have with the Columbine shooting after a woman who authorities described as "infatuated" with the shooting made threats that forced the closure of 19 school districts in Colorado. The woman was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

Posted: Apr 17, 2019 10:00 PM
Updated: Apr 17, 2019 10:00 PM

An FBI official has confirmed investigators are looking into a website believed to be connected to Sol Pais, the Florida high school student who was "infatuated" with the Columbine High massacre and traveled cross-country to Colorado while making threats.

Pais, 18, was found dead Wednesday morning of an apparent self-inflicted shotgun blast at a national recreation area outside Denver, Dean Phillips, the agent in charge of the FBI office in Denver, said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

Her threats prompted the Wednesday closing of many Denver-area school systems, some of which already were on edge with the 20th anniversary of Columbine only days away.

The website, which CNN is not naming, had scanned, handwritten journal entries from an individual who signed them Sol Pais.

Some of the journals are barely legible -- sometimes because of handwriting, other times because of the scanning. There are a number of crude drawings of weapons, from long rifles to handguns and knives; one drawing has a trench coat figure holding an apparent weapon.

In most of the entries, the individual rambles about feeling like they did not belong in this world or lived in a different dimension. Oftentimes, they would quote song lyrics.

One message on the website offered a dark insight into its potential purpose.

"The purpose of this site is for me to give insight into the thoughts I rarely, if ever, share with others, while remaining somewhat anonymous," one of the messages on its homepage read. "Everything from journal entries to my personal interests -- I want to leave a record of myself before I, well. ..." The final journal entry posted on the website is signed Sol Pais.

CNN has not been able to independently confirm this website belonged to Pais. Phillips confirmed the FBI is looking into the website.

She bought shotgun near Columbine High

Pais' body was found at the base of Mount Evans, a national recreation area, Phillips said.

"She appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound," he said. "At this point it looks like she was alone and took her own life with the weapon she procured."

Authorities said Pais arrived Monday in Colorado and immediately bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition.

She purchased the shotgun legally at the Colorado Gun Broker, according to a post on the company's Facebook page. The gun shop is less than two miles from Columbine High School.

The gun shop says Pais passed two background clearances by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The post goes on to say the store had no reason to suspect she was a threat to herself or anyone else.

Phillips said there was no threat to a particular school. Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said investigators don't think Pais got onto the grounds of Columbine High School in Littleton.

Pais had made "credible," but not specific, threats before and after traveling from Miami to Denver on Monday night, Phillips said.

She also raised suspicions by purchasing one-way plane tickets for April 15, 16 and 17, the agent said. Police in Florida contacted the Miami FBI office, which alerted the Denver office, Phillips said.

Phillips said he didn't know why Pais went to Mount Evans. The driver of a rideshare or some other vehicle dropped her off there, he said, and later helped police pinpoint the location. Mount Evans is about 60 miles west of Denver.

Pais was considered a threat to the community and schools, but there was no information on any specific threat to a particular place, Phillips said.

Relief and grief in Florida

More than 2,000 miles away, in the Miami suburb of Surfside, police Chief Julio Yero broke the news of Pais' death to her relatives.

Despite their grief, "they are actually grateful that no one else is hurt," Yero told reporters outside the family's home.

"This family contributed greatly to this investigation from the very onset," the police chief said. "They provided us valuable information that led us to Colorado, and a lot of things that assisted in preventing maybe more loss of life."

Yero asked the public to give the Pais family privacy as they mourn.

At least 19 school districts closed

Jefferson County Public Schools, which includes Columbine High School in Littleton, were among at least 19 school districts closed Wednesday as authorities searched for Pais.

With the search over, Jefferson County schools will reopen Thursday, Superintendent Jason Glass said.

But he said there will be "heightened safety and security procedures" ahead of Saturday's anniversary of the Columbine massacre.

The teen was 'really smart,' baffled classmate says

Pais was a student at Miami Beach Senior High School, said Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, spokeswoman for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Prior to news of Pais' death, a man who said he was Pais' father told the Miami Herald he lost contact with his daughter on Sunday.

"I think maybe she's got a mental problem," he told the Herald.

During the search for Pais, the teen's classmates said they were stunned that she was wanted for threats.

"I actually have my third-period math and my second period with her," 17-year-old Drew Burnstine said. "It's just kinda crazy -- she's so close to me, sitting next to me, and she's making these threats across the country."

Drew said he was surprised because Pais was "really smart" and had some of the best grades in the class.

But the teen was very quiet and kept to herself, Drew said.

"She hadn't really said anything to me other than thanking me for holding a door open for her," he said. "That's it."

'This opens a wound'

On April 20, 1999, two students killed 12 of their schoolmates and a teacher in a mass shooting at the high school in the town of Littleton, about 10 miles from Denver.

Sheriff Shrader said this week's potential threat of violence adds more pain to a community still grieving.

"I know that this opens a wound, especially on an anniversary week, for those families who were most deeply impacted by this," he said.

Correction: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Superintendent Jason Glass' name and the correct location of the gun shop where Pais purchased the weapon.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 796436

Reported Deaths: 15291
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2633336423
Riverside576951173
San Bernardino53121908
Orange525381176
San Diego45425767
Kern31647357
Fresno27944362
Sacramento21800393
Alameda20839395
Santa Clara20648300
San Joaquin20060434
Stanislaus16425342
Contra Costa16156202
Tulare15782257
Ventura12507146
Imperial11658317
San Francisco1090199
San Mateo9664144
Monterey964570
Santa Barbara8952111
Merced8803140
Kings754477
Sonoma7225120
Marin6620114
Solano623260
Madera442465
Placer352343
San Luis Obispo345327
Butte277640
Yolo277355
Santa Cruz22838
Sutter168610
Napa165213
San Benito131411
Yuba11337
El Dorado10784
Mendocino88718
Shasta75114
Lassen7360
Glenn5683
Tehama5294
Nevada5256
Colusa5226
Lake51611
Humboldt4906
Calaveras31414
Amador28716
Tuolumne2264
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 66°
Oroville
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 65°
Paradise
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Chester
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 54°
Red Bluff
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Willows
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 66°
Wednesday has been similar to Tuesday around northern California with comfortable temperatures, but unhealthy levels of smoke in the air. A cold front is approaching the West Coast, and that will move over the region on Thursday.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events