MIAMI What started as a frenzied manhunt for a possible school shooter at Columbine High ended Wednesday with the suspect, a young woman from Surfside, apparently killing herself in snow-covered woods near the Colorado school. The early take from law enforcement authorities was that she was a twisted fan of two teens who murdered 12 students and a teacher at Columbine two decades ago, ushering in a continuing string of school massacres.
But in South Florida, the emerging portrait of 18-year-old Sol Pais was more complex. She was known to classmates and teachers at Miami Beach High as a slight, quiet honors student who had no known record of troubles. That image starkly clashed with the tortured, often despairing emotions she spilled out in an obscure online blog in hand-written postings punctuated with drawings and mentions of guns.
This was a student who, according to some of her colleagues and I did speak with some of her colleagues just minutes ago was a well-adjusted student, a happy kid, a brilliant student, very high-achieving student, Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said at an afternoon news conference.