Florida teen who issued threats had little-known dark side


National News

April 18, 2019 - 10:00 AM

Sol Pais (Jefferson County Sheriff's Office/TNS)

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.

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