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tv   MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle  MSNBC  April 17, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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containing it. >> they had a great response, andrea. i watched it unfolded. all the agents, everybody, was all over this, they were protecting the schools, looking them down, looking them out. it was a great response. they flooded the area with the pictures. it was all over national media, her photograph. that's the way you go after it because you've got a leverage. the public is on your side. they did a good job on that. and she might have been located and law enforcement was closing in, those details will come to us. but we got to be vigilant this week. the 20th is hit tler's birthday and it stirs it up. >> here's ali velshi and stephanie ruhle. >> we're going to continue covering the same story. good afternoon. i'm ali velshi. >> and i'm stephanie ruhle. it is wednesday, april 17th, we
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begin with that breaking news out of colorado. the fbi has confirmed there is, quote, no longer a threat to the community after a massive search for a teenage woman described as armed and extremely dangerous and law enforcement told nbc news this 18-year-old suspect has now been found death. >> authorities say sol pais was infatuated with the 1999 columbine high school massacre and posed a credible threat. classes for more than half a million students are canceled today. all of this happening three days out from the 20th anniversary of the columbine massacre. >> we're joined now by joe fryer in colorado. joe, this is breaking news. we're taking it all in as we hear it. what is the latest where you are? >> reporter: we're in littleton, colorado, right now getting ready to head out. as we've reported, they
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confirmed that sol pais has been found dead. this comes after the fbi put out a tweet that said there's no longer a threat to the community, more information to follow shortly. what's unclear at this point is exactly how she died. we hope to learn more information about that here in the near future. all of this follows in the last hour a lot of police activity that was taking place about an hour west of where we are right now in littleton, colorado. there's been a lot of police activity there over the past hour. the fbi did confirm that there was investigate activity around the base of mt. evans, about 34 minutes ago, they confirmed that. but they said the investigation was active and ongoing. we know there's been a lot of activity in that area a little west of littleton. we can tell you, this has had a
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huge impact on the entire area of denver. most of the major school districts canceled classes. so we got more than half a million students who are not going to classes today out of an abundance of caution. of course this all started yesterday when the fbi in this area got reports about sol pais being in the area. she flew from florida to the colorado area. she bought a shotgun, ammunition, and was last seen monday in the foothills in the jefferson county area of this region. there was reason to believe she was infatuated with columbine and that anniversary is three days away. we've heard from the superintendent here in jefferson county that in the last couple of weeks, the number of threats to the school have gone up. it's something they're used to anymore columbine is in the news. but right now they deem this
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threat to be so credible that overnight school districts decided they didn't want to take the chance, so they decided to cancel classes all across the region. we're talking about hundreds and hundreds of schools that are not having classes today. we know that sol pais is no longer a threat. she has been found dead and we wait more information on what exactly went down on the base of mt. evans within the last hour or so to bring this to a conclusion. >> we don't know what happened. but do we know that she's dead from something self-inflicted? >> we don't know at this point. we don't want to speculate, so we're going to wait and see what authorities have to say. >> you'll bring us any more information as you get it. >> a 17-year-old woman, how did we get here? >> let's find out a little bit more about this.
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brandy, take us back a little bit. there's an internet profile, there's information about this woman that might shed some light on what's going on. >> usually when we get in these situations, we see a instagram and a facebook, but this young woman had a blog, a '90s era blog where she posted handwritten copies of her journal, she took photos of them and scanned them in and i can understand why police thought she was infatuated with the columbine killers because in her journals it was 9 inch nails lyrics that the columbine killers referenced, it was pictures of guns, it was a lot of talk about the day when it will happen, the planning that will go into it. she stops blogging for a little while, then comes back to it and says i've finally gotten the courage and then she signs off,
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you know, at the end of march. >> what was deleted, do we know? >> i don't know. we can't say what was deleted. so, yes, she may have had a facebook profile. she may have had all these things. but you don't hear much these days about -- this is like live journal style blogging and it's really -- it really is a relic of the '90s. it's so strange this was the r format. she used this handle across various social platforms including a site where she liked to draw photos and post them. >> clint, how do infatuations or fetishes on the internet become credible threats? >> i'm sure law enforcement in that area were naturally preparing for this. they do every year. and there was a remarkable story just a couple weeks ago about how columbine has had to deal with this for two decades now. this is something routine to
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them. but this anniversary, no doubt, essentially puts together a vulnerability assessment. once that comes through, they say who are the people who are most interested in columbine and that might be mobilized towards violence in a certain way. the next part are the tripwires. the tripwires that might be coming to unfold is someone from outside the area that talks about planning, then initiates travel and then does weapons purchases, rehearsals, those are tripwires where that mobilizes law enforcement to move. it seems that they had some sort of warning about this individual and when you see the words planning, you see an airline ticket purchased, maybe you get a tip or a lead, when you see that person buy a weapon, if you look at the history of mass shootings, this lines up with we have a five-alarm fire that we need to deal with? >> she posted a question on line about how to buy a gun. did anyone answer her and give
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her the prescription? >> she went on a gun forum and she said -- >> you had a late night? >> i had a late night and an early morning. she posted using the same handle and she posted -- she's looking for advice, she's going to colorado, i'm from florida, how would i purchase a shotgun and carry it across state lines and people did respond and a lot of people, speaking to where that tip may have come from, were like, this doesn't pass the smell test. this is concerning. >> she said, i want to go camping with my friends. but she didn't get much advice. >> that's -- i guess that's the kind of thing, if one posts that kind of thing, i just don't really understand in our first amendment world where you say someone is just asking a question, because on the internet we pose questions about everything and it triggers somebody into thinking maybe there's a clirime developing.
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>> our system allowed this person to travel from one state to another, quickly gain a firearm and move to potentially shooting a target. but in terms of tips and leads, it's remarkable that somewhere law enforcement got onto this person. this was something that was devastating ten years ago, when we were looking at al qaeda or isis case, it was hard to pin down where these leads come from. in this case it seems like there were tips and leads out there and law enforcement mobilized quickly. they connected with the school districts around denver and they have now found this person. but how does that person have the ability to get a firearm -- >> we end up with this conversation, after something has happened, sometimes they stop it before it happens, we have you or brandy and one of her colleagues who scour the web and realize there were clues. it's very rare that those two things intersect, that the clues and somehow preventing this from
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happening or it not happening come together ahead of time. >> right. in this sort of a way. i think it does happen and we don't hear about it. but the key point is we know oftentimes these people have been reported to police or school counselors or mental health professionals or have been spotted in these kinds of forums and time and time again, we can go back to -- >> the pipe bombs. >> sometimes they're able to get a weapon, right in their hands, this is an open door. when we look at how do you stop these things, it's impact and frequency. how do we keep the most dangerous weapons out of people that might be able to launch an attack of severity and the frequency. that part, law enforcement can't deal with. somebody who's using first amendment protected speech has not begun planning, has not
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moved to violence. there's a middle ground there that we have not solved in this country. how do we deal with people who are mobilizing towards violence. >> we're going to get more information in 20 minutes. the jefferson county school district will be holding a press conference and we're going to take you there live. >> does infatuation with columbine, we had no idea of the level of interest and infashuation with such a tragedy. does this rise to being an certainty sub culture. >> it's huge because the platforms allow it. i won't say in too much detail, but youtube, tumbler is full of memes and videos and posts celebrating these murders. it's terrible. tumbler just decided that it would ban pornography recently
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and yet you can look at all of these posts and see the sort of things they do. one woman was just arrested because she posted a bunch of things -- she was part of this community and she said the words like i am planning something, and that was the trigger. but right now as we speak, there are thousands of people all online, all talking about this. >> i wouldn't have known about this. in the case of sol pais, this woman, was there anything that you saw that said anything like i am planning this or was it sort of obvious hints. >> over and over and over. she said i am planning something, but you can't know what it is. this is my plan. i'm revamping, i'm kick starting my plan again. she talks about guns. it's -- she was clearly planning on harming someone. she only harmed herself. she didn't speak about exactly the school that she was going to harm someone there. but -- >> but it was enough for the schools to take it seriously,
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shutting it down so half a million kids are not at school today. joe fryer, can you connect what brandy has been telling us about everything that happened before on the internet and what happened to cause officials in colorado to keep kids home from school today? >> reporter: basically it was a confluence of a lot of factors. just the fact that they clearly had seen these online postings, perhaps they talked with family and knew there was this infashuation with columbine. and they had evidence that she purchased a shotgun as soon as she landed in colorado. she's an 18-year-old girl, a high school student. and then add that to the fact that they felt there was some sort of credible threat and then you add to the fact that we are days away from the columbine anniversary, you put all those things together and there was -- that's why there was reason to be concerned. i think especially when you consider that they had reason to believe that she was armed and
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that she was sort of hiding out and difficult to find. once it was -- it was tuesday yesterday when the fbi here in denver got basically tipped off from the fbi in miami and learned about all this. they made sure to quickly share it with all the local officials, sheriff's departments, police departments and school districts in denver and throughout the area and that's why yesterday we saw dozens and dozens of schools what are called lockouts. they define these lockouts as a threat outside of the school. the step they took was to lock all the exterior doors, but it was business as usual inside all of these schools. most continued to have afterschool activities. there was increased police presence. columbine was the exception.
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they did make the decision to cancel afterschool programs and activities but as we've been saying, unfortunately -- maybe not to this degree, but it is something that in the last 20 years columbine has grown accustom to. they say pretty much anytime columbine is in the news, they tend to hear threats. they said last year after the parkland shooting, they started to hear threats from that. it's interesting a few weeks ago as we were preparing for our coverage of the 20th anniversary of columbine, we were able to sit down with a number of the families impacted by that, that includes parent who lost their children, and one of the most common things i heard was what the wosrd columbine has come to mean. it stirs up all sorts of images in your mind. there's a feeling that they want to reclaim that. when there's school shootings,
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people refer to it as a columbine-like massacre. it's difficult for people in this community to hear. even though there were other school shootings before it, something about this one, the way it played out on television and the fact that it was so massive really, you know, did get so much more attention and it is -- of the many school shootings we've had, one that people recognize. and for these families, they really wanted to try to reclaim that word columbine and try to focus on the lives of the 12 students and the teacher who died 20 year's ago. >> clint, help us understand how and why this happens. we know that joe and our colleague kate snow sat down with a number of families from columbine to talk about what the last 20 years have been like. and the surprise hasn't been about rebuilding their lives, be u they continue to be haunted by
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new threats. we heard that about sandy hook and alex jones. this isn't something that i think your average person realizes. >> this is important to remember when this happened. it was broadcast on cable television news almost immediately. it went on for a very long time. the responses were very slow and deliberate. contain the area. they were left in there. now that whole mode of option is get in as quickly as you can to eliminate the threat. the second part, this is the dawn of the internet area. this was the first attack where pictures, video, things were posted online and there was group -- you know, international even discussion about these attacks. fast forward now, you can look at knew tonew town. it's a mass violent event. you can look at the sandy hook
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sort of conspiracies that merge out of it, if you look at new zealand and the mosque shooting, there's a strong network of people who are enthusiastic about these attacks and see it as a way to strike back at a system. i don't mean to say that everyone sees it the same way. it is like, you know, a moth to a flame. they go to this as something that they're fixated about and they build conspiracies around it or justifications for these individuals are our heroes and we need to reassert and make them proud. it's almost like this weird cultish phenomenon by people that don't even know each other necessarily. but contribute to the fandom around these individuals. >> a lot of it is the misinformation. these people, were they bullied, were they loners, but all of
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that is fake. that's not the way they were treated at school. they were treated fine. so people have like used them and disaffected youth that are online still have that narrative in their head that they attach with these people of getting everyone or getting back or finally making a name for yourself. they have -- it's actually called, you know, something, they have a word for it and it's hero. that's -- yes. it's -- >> we're going to hear in ten minutes from the jefferson county school board. this concept of identifying with people who are either misfits or being left out. that was something that appeared in sol pais's blog. she talked about feeling like she's on the outside of society. >> absolutely. i talked to classmates of hers and they called her emo. she was journaling over and over and over again how she hated her life, how she felt like she
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should have been born in another time, another place. but that's a lot of youth feel that way. >> that's teen life. you spoke to classmates. do we know much about the school she was attending, her family. she had school today. she got on a plane yesterday and i'm pretty sure they had class. have law enforcement -- i'm assuming they've contacted her family. has her family said anything. >> i don't know. i know her dad wasn't coming outside of the house. i think a reporter from colorado called the father's number and an fbi agent said he was doing an interview. we know that the fbi agent is there. we know the father spoke to a reporter through the door and said it was a nightmare for him which i'm sure it is. >> clint, what do we learn from this for the future. what i'm hearing which i really was not aware of, how many times have you and i been together in the late afternoon covering a shooting, but i didn't realize something interesting, that
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there's probably more of this going on without we know. is there something as we've evolved from when we first covered columbine to this day that will help us intercept these things in the future. >> on the law enforcement side there's been tremendous progress. unfortunately due to routine, this has happened so many times. active shooter training has spread, there's established standard operating procedures about how to react -- >> just to be clear, one of the big changes, our viewers may not know what we're talking about, it used to be that you secured an area, a perimeter and you waited and tried to get people out and there was negotiation, we've changed that approach. >> that model completely went away once they realized that these active shooters are going in there to afflict as much
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violence as possible. >> which is why we sometimes see first responders who are not either the highly armed or trained but they go in and sometimes they lose their lives doing it. >> that's right. colleges, schools around the country, even workplaces have active shooter training. they're coming up with ways to deal with should this incident arise, here's what you do. why in this country do we have such a high incidence of this occurring and why is it so deadly when it does occur. this does not happen around the world. we just saw in new zealand, they're response to the biggest mass shooting ever was extremely quick, legislation around weapons, about how to deal with social media, how to set up their law enforcement environment to pick up on these tips and leads. we have never seen that in this
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country. i was here on the day that steve scalise was shot on that softball field. and i thought if congressmen are being targeted you would see some sort of -- >> it's not when you see something, say something. that student was not allowed to be on campus in parkland, and looking what happened. >> this is a systemic problem. there may be law enforcement successes, but we can only ask so many of our larmt and police when we have systemic things that allow people to lend and buy a weapon. let's bring andrew blankstein in. you were talking to some law enforcement officials? >> we're still trying to get some details of exactly what took place in the leadup to sol pais's body being found near echo lake. one of the things that law enforcement sources have said is that there was -- even though there wasn't an eminent threat
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to the schools, they blanketed this area and this search because you're not leaving anything to chance. you have a credible threat, you have the means in this case carrying a shotgun to carry it out, and so this is what -- this is why you saw such a massive response. if you look at what's happened since parkland with all the threats from people calling in false threat, all the way to people actually carrying guns into schools, law enforcement has to take every single one of these seriously and the communications web involving the fbi with local authorities right away is one of the reasons why you saw such kind of a swift end to this. >> we rarely see in these types of situations, clint, is that it's a female. obviously in this case it is. how rare is that? >> it's extremely rare. what we tend to see are male shooters. it's interesting how this
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dynamic has played out. over the past few years with this social media-inspired sort of movements, we've seen an increasing level of female participation. this has changed if you look at isis recruits and potential threats, that started back into the al qaeda days. and when you look today, there's quite a large presence. if you rewound ten years ago, this was almost unheard of. while it is unique in some ways, it is not unheard of anymore. this has really changed. >> and in the places that you are dwelling, is the proportion of women higher than we might expect. >> yeah. a part of it is not just fandom, but it's a crush side involved. it's a crush situation. there are a lot of girls, a lot of boys and a lot of just young people. >> this is a remarkable story. we are expecting in about five minutes to hear about the
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jefferson county school district. as joe fryer was explaining, half a million kids have been kept home from school because this threat was deemed credible enough and from what we're hearing, that seems to have been a sensible decision. >> joe fryer is still with us. reset the stage for us, the last 24 hours where you are. >> yeah. really we're about 24 hours into when this started to surface, this public knowledge. basically what happened is the fbi in denver, after hearing from the fbi in florida, learned about this potential, what they called, credible threat. what they learned was that sol pais, an 18-year-old high school student from florida has flown to colorado on monday after getting here she was able to purchase a shotgun and some ammunition and she was taken, somehow, we don't know how got there, to the foothills. they decided they needed to
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communicate with several jurisdictions, we're talking about sheriff's departments, police departments and local school districts to try and get the word out about this because they felt there was a credible threat. there was no threat made to a specific school authorities said, but also because they felt sol pais was infatuated with what happened in columbine. as the day unfolded yesterday at dozens of schools, what we saw were these lockouts where the schools went on business as normal but they locked their exterior doors to make sure no one could get in. school for the most part let out on time. many schools still continued with their afterschool activities. as more information became released, publicly, especially, about sol pais and why the authorities were so drconcerned about her, it became apparent that school districts were starting to weigh the decision
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whether they wanted to have school the next day. we were told at 3:30 in the morning the state school officials would have a conference call to discuss this and make a decision in the early morning hours. what we found was that late yesterday, pretty much like dominos, the school districts started to make these decisions and decide out of precaution to cancel class for the day and giving parents a little more time to try to figure out their arrangements for the day. we're talking about a lot of school districts, more than a dozen throughout the denver area, both in the city and in several counties surrounding there and if you add it all up, we've seen numbers that say more than a million students who would normally be in school are not in school today. we expect to hear from jefferson county shortly. we don't expect them to comment on what's happening with the fbi and the investigation, but they might be able to shed a little more light on what this means for their school district moving
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forward and also keeping in mind, with the columbine anniversary approaching, we know there's a candlelight vigil on friday night. they just want to make sure all of those events that everyone feels safe and they're able to carry on with those events. >> and jefferson county is just to the west of denver. do we know who we're expected to hear from? we understand it's a school board. do we know if it's other jefferson county officials that we're hearing from? >> i'm not sure. the superintendent was the one who spoke out yesterday. i would guess it would be him. i would have to look through again to see what it was. he did speak yesterday and he was candid, in the last couple of weeks they have seen threats ramp up as the anniversaries move closer. it has happened before on anniversaries. really any time columbine
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returns into the news or anytime there's a major school shooting in another city, for example, parkland last year, there will be threats to columbine. columbine has taken on the role, the retired principal -- >> we're going to start listening to this school board press conference. let's listen in. >> the chief communications officer for jefferson county public schools. we thank you for coming on such short notice. we will have three brief statements from the gentleman to my left. first we'll have a statement from the jefferson county sheriff, following will be our superintendent, dr. jason glass, and john mcdonald, the executive director for public safety. >> we will take a few questions afterwards. and apologize if we need to cut
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off, as you can imagine, there's a lot of things going on right now in jefferson county and we're working things as they happen. so with that, sheriff charader. >> there's been a lot of hard work by a lot of people throughout the denver metro area. information that came into the fbi did create a significant amount of concern regarding a -- what we believe is a credible threat or had been a credible threat. i know as many of you perhaps have already reported even the fbi recently just confirmed that they have found mrs. sol pais deceased from a self-inflicted
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gunshot wound. our focus has been how can we keep our kids safe in schools and a lot of ongoing conversation with our school safety partners in jefferson county public schools as well as law enforcement agencies throughout the denver metro area and school administration right here with dr. glass being heavily involved in conversations throughout that process. obviously, we are concerned to get kids back to school and so we're going to continue working with the school district, the school safety team to make sure we can do that in a safe manner and that during this important week to the columbine community that those events are carried off in a safe manner as well. >> i'd like to first address the breaking news on this issue by
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saying that we are relieved that the threat to our schools and community is no longer present and i want to express deep gratitude. i also want to thank the public schools staff for your professionalism, and performance during this ongoing difficult period of time. i'm proud of you and i appreciate you. i'm also deeply grateful for the support of the denver metro area superintendents and other state leaders. it extended across the whole metro area and affected us all. while this threat has been the most significant, it's not the only challenge facing our schools and our community in these days leading up to the columbine anniversary. i appreciate our community's patience as we continue to navigate these difficult issues and i'm always inspired by this community's capacity for good in the face of unimaginable evil.
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we're planning on returning to normal school operations tomorrow and ongoi tomorrow. and the other events that were planned for this weekend, will continue as planned. thank you. i want to turn it over to john mcdonald. >> thank you, dr. glass. the shadow of columbine looms pretty large here in jefferson county as it does across the state and the country. for us the partnership that we have with the sheriff's office is something pretty special. there are a lot of lessons learned in 1999, probably the biggest lesson was breaking down the silos and the ability to train together, to work together, to constantly communicate, to keep our 86,000 kids safe across this district is a foundational aspect of what
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we do. and when this threat came in, we are used to threats, frankly, at columbine. this one felt different. it was different. and it certainly had our attention. we base our decisions based on the best intel we have at the time and to close an entire metro area is not an easy decision, but at the end of the day, it's the right decision, the best decision to protect all of our kids. and to me that's pretty important, it's critically important to everything that we do. a student who doesn't feel safe, isn't a well educated student. we are blessed in jefferson county to have support from law enforcement agencies that are helping us protect our kids each and every day. i'm very thankful this threat is
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over and we can get back to the business of learning but we know that columbine continues to attract people from around the world and if i have any message, we're not a place to come visit if you're not a student. if you don't have business there, we're not a tourist attraction and we're not a place for you to come and gain inspiration. thank you. >> thank you, gentlemaen. >> can you describe the circumstances surrounding the death of ms. sol pais? were agents involved in pursuing her at the time? >> i don't have that information. but i believe she was found on a search. but again the fbi will be doing a more comprehensive briefing. they're currently processing the scene where her body was found to determine all of the factors
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that would lead to those conclusions. i don't know if she was -- i don't believe that they were in active pursuit at the time she was found dead. but they'll confirm that and the details surrounding that. >> do you believe there's -- [ inaudible question ] >> we've had staff on the rocky mountain safe streets task force that have been involved. we've had people in the command post during the course of the last 24 hours to aid in that investigation. we've had plenty of staff that have been boots on the ground searching different areas. everything that i've heard in briefings does not indicate that she had any assistance or friends in the area, just a fascination with the columbine area and the horrendous crime that went on there 20 years ago.
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>> i think you said this threat felt different. she did purchase a gun in colorado. how did that play into this? >> for me lyme looking at school shooters and the history of what we've seen for the last 20 years, there's some real indicators that we look at. the fact that she was committed, purchased a plane ticket and made that journey to columbine, once she got into our area and purchased a gun, now, i say made the -- i don't believe she made it onto columbine property. i don't think that's ever been confirmed. she purchased a weapon and those two things combined along with her fascination of columbine, that's pretty clear and convincing evidence that we have a threat to the school. >> where was that gun -- can you please speak louder?
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>> where was the gun purchased? >> i'm not going to reveal the gun shop, but it was in the littleton area not too far from columbine. >> how do you know she was infatuated with -- >> the reports that have been in briefings have indicated that she had made statements to friends, family and some only-type postings. >> i also want to introduce the former principal of columbine school who's here to answer any questions around the historical columbine events and events related to the memorial this weekend. >> you talk about the fact that she is only one person and she did have a gun, but how was she also just as one person to generate so much concern and affect such a wide area? can you talk about the -- >> well, i will say this, we base all of our decisions on the
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intel that we have at the time. so from our perspective, the information that came in to us we made a decision based on what we needed to do at columbine. and then that extends to other areas to protect those immediate schools based on further information that we were provided by law enforcement we made decisions to place some of the mountain schools on lockout as well. all of those decisions are not done in a vacuum or in a silo. it is constant communication back and forth, looking at what the threat is and having discussi decision makers together. we had good partners who were looking at our entire school safety program. that extended out metro-wide
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when we were advised that the threat was not specific to columbine. however, in my mind, the fascination with columbine, where she purchased the weapon, the fact that she made the journey here, for me, it's all about protecting our environment, our schools. and so we made that decision. >> yes, over here, thank you. >> also, if she were still alive, what could law enforcement do in terms of containing the situation, could she have been charged with something, or is law enforcement's hands tied. >> i don't believe our hands were tied in this type of a situation. obviously communication was ongoing. do i know what charges could necessarily have applied in this case? not without additional information and there were prosecutors as well as many law enforcement officers involved in
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that communication. minimally, based on the information that we had, she certainly would have been subject to being taken into custody for a mental health hold, 72-hour hold and treat, to determine a little bit more about the mental state and what risk there would have been posed. but minimally that would have happened. certainly there was the potential for other charges. but absent additional information, i couldn't be able to comment on what those would be. >> yes, over there. person from the post. >> in addition to the additional security tomorrow, do you anticipate there's going to be any need for additional mental health support or counseling? >> after events like this, we typically deploy additional mental health support, counseling, make that available to our staff, our students, our families. regrettably, this is not the only time, situations like this
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have happened in jefferson county and in schools across the country. it's a sad statement that we're becoming more used to handling situations like this. but we expect there will be some grief and processing mental issues to contend with tomorrow. >> thank you. back there. >> can you describe what you mean by heightened security tomorrow? >> we will not disclose what exactly that looks like. but it will involve processes and procedures at buildings regarding entrance into schools, operations of the school during the day, release of students at the end of the day, additional patrols, using camera systems. without going into details it might reveal our systems of support. >> officers at school? >> students will see, as they typically do, we are all over schools all day long. they're used to seeing us and they'll continue to see us and
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they'll see additional patrols in their future. >> thank you. over there. >> and this question is for frank. i know this is already an emotional, difficult week, and for you, for families, when did you first learn about this? i know you still have a relationship with these families. have you talked with them? what are they thinking right now? >> yesterday i was in columbine high school when we went into lockout and the first thing i did is check in on about the 15 staff members who were there when the event happened 20 years ago and some families started reaching out to me to provide support for everyone. it's very important that we continue to look at what happened 20 years ago, but at the same time not let it detract from what we're hoping to do this week. and the support was so great when jefferson county came together. it takes us back and i think you talk to most people who were
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part of columbine high school, when that month of april comes, it does something to us all. we have the support system in place and we have that famous saying, we're columbine, and during times like this it resonates loudly and clearly. >> can you talk personally about you, what you felt and thought and your message to the parents out there? >> one thing that is so different from this time as opposed to 20 years ago is all the things that we have in place. prior to that time, the only drills we did were fire drills. columbine school acted so professionally and the reason they did this is because of the training being done by the jefferson county sheriff's department. it was like clockwork. i was there and the kids knew exactly what to do. there was support. and so that is much more reassuring than where we were 20
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years ago. i think we know we have things in place now, lessons learned, and the support system is there. and so again we reached out to everyone. and dr. glass and his leadership has been fantastic. >> i just want to ask you the question about was the gun purchased legally, and can you kind of explain the laws, a lot of people are asking how she would be able to purchase a shotgun here in colorado. >> the things that i've been briefed on, all appearances are that the firearm was purchased legally. i'm sure there will be some ongoing evaluation in that regard by federal law enforcement officers, perhaps with the atf. but every appearance is it was purchased legally. one of the requirements when somebody purchases a gun or obtains a concealed gun permit in the state of colorado is that their fingerprint -- that information is run through the
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colorado check program. that would be a requirement and provide the gun seller the legal right to sell that gun to an individual based on the information that they have there. >> and could someone from the school speak to what the lead time was, maybe, when you found out about this potential threat and the seriousness of it and what action was taken? >> i received a call from law enforcement and as soon as i had that call from the task force agent that placed it, i immediately called our school resource officer at columbine and we began within a minute of taking action and making decisions. >> can you describe the process with the other districts in the metro area. i've been here a long time. this is unprecedented to have
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hundreds of thousands of children affected. >> the denver metro area superintendents coordinated closely on this. of course jefferson county was the epicenter of the threat. as it was determined the threat wasn't specific to any one school and we knew she was present in the metro area and clearly had developed means to move around from the airport into littleton up to the foothills and the mountains, there was a concern that any of our schools could be targets until -- until this situation was resolved. so we worked closely with law enforcement, the fbi, state law enforcement, the governor's office was involved, there were a lot of conversations and collectively we stood together and made the decision to close all of the schools in the metro area today because of the threat couldn't be determined. we did begin thinking about if there were to continue, then what? so what would we be doing tomorrow and the next day and
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how would we adapt as school leaders and as our school systems to meet this new challenge. that work was happening as of half an hour ago, we were still working on what that would look like in the face of this new threat. and i believe that this may not be the first time we see something like this. these things -- we see copy cat versions of threats and actions more commonly and and so we are developing systems and procedures on how we will react to situations like this in the future. [ inaudible question ] >> we don't know. we were working on what changes to what school looks like, would have to happen for us to be open. we did not wish to have one person hold all of the schools in the front range of the whole state hostage. we wanted to have a reaction to that and allow learning to happen. so we -- it would have required
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different transportation procedures, different processes for kids coming into schools, locking systems, patrols, food service,mean, it's complex, thet of changes that would need to happen. we were working that problem and thinking about how do we change what school likes on a normal day to how school looks like under this threat, and we, fortunately, didn't have to execute that. but we've saved it up a because we may have to come back to it at some point. i think it may not only be helpful to jeffco schools, but other schools in the country who may face this situation in the future. >> between 1999 and 2018, colorado has experienced eight school shootings. i think each of those school shootings that have occurred we have learned a lot of lessons and we are paying attention to what's happened around the country. so, decisions that are made
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today are not decisions that we would have made in the past, and that's part of the learning. it's part of the training that we do each and every day. and in schools we plan for two types of threats. we plan for the insider threat, potential student, and we plan for the outsider threat. so, the practices, protocols, and programs that we have in place for the outsider threat came into play yesterday. >> we have time for one more question. >> [ inaudible question ] >> well, the fbi developed information that came forward from the miami fbi office to the colorado fbi office. i believe after she was reported missing by her parents. and again the fbi will, in all likelihood, be conducting a more thorough briefing, media briefing, on the details of their case, and they probably would be better equipped to answer that.
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but if i could get back to the question that you asked. one of the goals of public safety is not only to reduce crime, but to reduce the fear of crime. i had the opportunity to listen in on the superintendent's calls last night and today, and the thoughtful deliberation that went on throughout the denver metro school superintendents, that was a large piece of it. o are kids going to be fearful? are their parents going to be concerned with their kids? ultimately, is that a good learning environment? but that's the thing that we work on hard every day, is to make sure that with our school safety partners, to make sure that the schools are safe and that kids are in an environment where they feel comfortable so that they can learn their very best. >> how did she get around jeffco? >> i'm sure it will come out in
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the fbi briefing, but it was an uber type of a system, i believe. >> okay. i think that wraps it up for us today. thank you all for coming. we appreciate it. on behalf of jeffco public schools, we are eternally grateful to our partners in our community who helped bring this to a conclusion, and we appreciate your time and attention today. thank you. >> all right. you are listening to jefferson county school bus. a lot more information you would get out of the school board. that's the only response we got to the fact the woman they were looking for, sol pais, has withbeen found d deead of a self-inflict girl scout wound. >> joe fryer is at columbine high school. that was quite a lot that we heard. it's amazing what the school and community has been through and continue to be. >> reporter: yeah, it's really incredible. first of all, we have to keep in
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mind hundreds of schools in the denver area had been impacted by this. we have more than half a million kids not in school today because of this. at the end of the day the school that's mind me, columbine, as you heard in the news conference, is really sort of one of the reasons people are paying so much attention to this. first of all, it's because sol pais was believed to be infatuation with what happened at columbine 20 years ago. also you kept hearing references to the 20-year anniversary this saturday. there is a vigil planned for saturday night. there will be a remembrance ceremony saturday. saturday is also considered a day of service. there will be service projects going on throughout the community because this community is trying really hard to sort of reclaim columbine and its identity because so many times when people hear that word, obviously they think about the shooting that happened 20 years ago. so this is heavy on their minds. they are used to dealing with different types of situations
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like this. this clearly rose to a higher level. they get threats often, especially as the anniversary approaches. certainly as this anniversary approached and when other schools experience shootings. a little more information we want to add. the fbi has basically confirmed that sol pais is deceased. it is the surfside, florida, police chief. that is where sol pais is from, that's where her family lives. he just showed up and spoke with the family there, and he just told reporters that sol did take her life and that her family is grateful nobody else was hurt. so this is information that is coming from the surfside police chief who has been in touch throughout this whole process, communicating with the family. he says pais's family contributed greatly and has provided valuable information to help and make sure that this situation, no one got hurt. this is not the ending that her family wanted. >> how terribly sad. her family grateful no one else is hurt, they are still obviously grappling with this
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news, the loss of their daughter. >> bill gavin ran the miami fbi office and denver office during his career the suspect left from miami and arrived in denver. bill, i thought what was interesting from the school, the security superintendent of the schools, was talking about the way in which these things have changed. clint watts earlier said there is some systemic fails urs allowed her to go to denver, buy a gun, and get as close to a school shooting as she did. the law enforcement part of it seemed to have worked well. >> well, the only thing that i can say is two things that come into play here. number one, hats off to the educational system and the local law enforcement there in colorado. it's one thing to have a plan. it's another thing to make sure that plan is going to work when it's put into action, an these people have practiced, they've done a marvelous job of protecting the children and
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citizens in the country. hats off to them. in terms of law enforcement, you have to have complete cooperation. when this woman got on the plane in miami, one has to believe that everything is on film. it is in the airport all the time. you can see her getting on the plane, off the plane in denver. i have to believe she probably rented a car. so you are going to have film there. a bolo probably went out with the license plate on the car. my question is residency requirement for purchasing the shotgun. that will trickle down as this -- more details come to liechlt i'm sure they have pictures of her buying the gun in the store as well. so i think everything worked the way it should work even though the situation is tragic and it ended up tragically for one family rather than a number of families. but again one has to realize that in doing these kinds of things, it kind of picks the
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scab off the wound once again for the poor people of columbine and other schools out there in colorado. my heart goes out to the people who have to live through this every single year. >> i want to reset this with you about who this woman was. there was a deeper background. it wasn't just that somebody got on a plane in miami, got off in denver. she had a blog in which she really talked about her, what we are calling infatuation with the columbine massacre, but almost a hero worship. >> more than a typical disaffected youth rage against the machine. >> she had a blog. she has been keeping it since at least june of last year, of 2018, and in the blog she -- and this is terribly sad now looking back. she talks about how miserable she is, how she is, you know, really upset. she hates school. she talks about, you know, heartbreak. just normal teenager stuff. but then interspersed is a
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darkness and a heroization of the columbine killers. it isn't uncommon online for young people to be parts of this sort of subculture of the web of columbiners. but she was definitely one. in her blog she drew pictures of the columbine killers. she drew pictures of guns. she referenced a plan that she was going to carry out. and she also, tellingly, drew pictures of mountains and trees that likely looked like the very area in which she was found. >> what a remarkable story with a sad ending, although a lot of authorities and schools officials are saying possibly less sad than it would have. thank you very much. bill gavin, former assistant director of the fbi here in new york. >> ali, if i told you there was an internet group of columbiners, you would have thought it was a support group. >> right. when i first saw the term infatuated with columbine, i had no idea. >> i would have thought it was a
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support group. >> kasie hunt is picking up our coverage now. kasey. >> thanks t i am kasie hunt in for katy tur. 2:00 p.m. here in washington, and noon in colorado where we are following this breaking news. the fbi has tweeted that there is no longer a threat to colorado schools. with law enforcement officials confirming that 18-year-old sol pais has been found dead. apparently from a self-inflicted wound. state schools were on lockdown today after pais, who law enforcement say was infatuated with the columbine massacre, was at large and considered armed and dangerous. state officials addressed the press last hour. >> the fact that she was committed, purchased a plane ticket, not only purchased a plane ticket but made that journey, that pilgrimage to columbine. once she got into our area, purchased a gun. she purchased a weapon. those two things combined


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