Columbine High School and other schools in the area have received “what appears to be a credible threat possibly involving the schools,” and were on “lockout,” meaning no one could get in or out, authorities say.
However, school officials now say that students and staff are safe and will now be released from school normally. They were taking precautions, though.
Authorities are seeking an 18-year-old woman named Sol Pais in connection with the alleged threats:
“The threat being investigated is to schools in general, and we are working together across the metro area to gather more information. We will keep everyone updated as soon as we can, in the meantime in Aurora we are increasing police presence at our schools,” the Aurora Police Department wrote.
Altogether, more than 15 schools in the Denver, Colorado area are affected.
“We are currently investigating what appears to be a credible threat possibly involving the schools. Children are safe. Deputies are at the schools. Multiple schools are on lockout in Columbine area & Mountains. More details to come #JeffCo,” the Jefferson County Sheriff wrote on Twitter and Facebook on the afternoon of April 16, 2019.
The School District revealed: “We have an update regarding the multiple lockouts this afternoon. All students and staff are safe. Students will be released from schools normally; buses will be running on normal schedule. We will have extra safety and security staff on site at all schools affected.”
The threat comes just four days before the 20th anniversary of the April 20, 1999 Columbine attack in which students murdered 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High. April 16 is the 12th anniversary of the Virginia Tech mass shooting, which occurred on April 16, 2007.
Here’s what you need to know:
The School District Explained That Entry & Exit Are Being Restricted
The School District also posted about the information on April 16, 2019, writing, “We have placed #ColumbineHighSchool, #LeawoodElementary, @bhelementaryco and all mountain schools on lockout. No further information at this time. Lockout means biz as usual inside buildings, entry/exit restricted.”
The Jefferson County School District previously confirmed what it means by Mountain Schools: “To clarify, mountain schools include Evergreen High, Evergreen Middle, Conifer High, West Jeff Middle, West Jeff Elementary, Bergens, Wilmot Elementary, Marshdale Elementary, Elk Creek Elementary, Ralston Elementary, Rocky Mountain Academy, Parmalee Elementary.”
The school district also announced that after-school activities at Columbine were cancelled as a precautionary measure.
“All after-school activities, sports, and practices will occur as scheduled EXCEPT for Columbine High School where all such activities are canceled,” the district wrote. “Schools who were in lockout will remain in lockout until their normal release time.”
There have been other lockouts at Columbine in the past since the mass shooting tragedy.
Police were searching the area for a suspicious person, according to The Denver Post. Further details of that person or the possible threat were not outlined, but the Post reported it was not made against a specific school. The Post reported that a lockout is a less serious measure than a lockdown.
More details of the possible threat were not released. This article will be updated when they are.