DENVER — The Colorado Department of Education recommended all Denver metro-area schools to go on lockout on Tuesday afternoon and conduct controlled releases of students as the FBI investigates a “credible threat” to schools in the area.
Columbine High School and nearly two dozen other schools in Jefferson County and one Denver school were already placed on lockout because of “what appears to be a credible threat possibly involving the schools,” the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said.
The sheriff’s office said Sol Pais traveled to Colorado and made threats to the schools. She is armed and considered to be extremely dangerous.
Pais, 18, is described as a white woman, about 5-foot-5 with brown hair. She was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, camouflage pants and black boots. She was last seen in the foothills of Jefferson County.
Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 303-630-6227.
Besides Columbine in Jefferson County, Leawood and Blue Heron elementary schools and all mountain schools were placed on lockout, Jefferson County Public Schools said.
The mountain schools include Conifer and Evergreen high schools; Evergreen, Ken Caryl and West Jeff middle schools; Bergen, Dutch Creek, Elk Creek, Governor’s Ranch, Marshdale, Normandy, Parmalee, Ralston, West Jeff and Wilmont elementary schools; Mount Evans Outdoor Laboratory School, Rocky Mountain Academy, Windy Peak Outdoor Laboratory School and Woodrow Wilson Academy.
The district said deputies are at the schools, and the district and sheriff’s office said everyone is safe.
All schools will be released on time and those placed on lockout will have extra security present.
After-school activities, sports and practices will occur as scheduled except at Columbine, where they have been canceled.
The Clear Creek School District was placed on the more restrictive lockdown with everyone sheltering in place.
The move was done at the request of the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office. All students and staff are safe, the district said.
The sheriff’s office said there is no specific threat of an individual school. Deputies are checking roads in the county of a possibly armed individual in the county.
Police presence was increased at Aurora schools, which were placed on secure perimeter as students were released in a “controlled manner.”
Grant Ranch ECE-8 School was placed on lockout because of the threat, a Denver Public Schools spokesman said.
“We are aware of the ongoing investigation regarding a potential credible threat and remain in close contact with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners,” the Denver Police Department said. “As a precaution, Denver police officers have been directed to remain attentive around schools.”
Adams 14 School District said students would only be released to district school buses, parents and/or guardians. Students who normally walk home were not allowed to do so.
The Douglas County School District said after-school activities were continuing and outdoor activities would be moved inside. Outdoor sporting events would have an enhanced police presence.
A lockout means normal activities inside the schools continue as normal, but entering and exiting are restricted.
The threat comes days before the 20th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting.