Denver Schools Reopen Thursday, Police Remain Vigilant After Threat of Shooting

Denver Schools Reopen Thursday, Police Remain Vigilant After Threat of Shooting

All Denver-area schools closed for a “credible threat” Wednesday will be open Thursday after the FBI said late Wednesday there was “no longer a threat to the community.”

All Denver-area schools that were closed Wednesday due to a “credible threat” posed by a woman “infatuated” with Columbine will be open Thursday. The FBI said late Wednesday there was “no longer a threat to the community” following the end of a statewide manhunt for the suspect, who was found dead from self-inflicted wounds Wednesday.

The 18-year-old female suspect had travelled from Florida to Colorado, purchased a weapon and made threats that prompted a massive search operation and the closure of school for more than half a million students in Colorado on Wednesday. She was found dead Wednesday.

Law enforcement had considered the woman to be armed and dangerous. Authorities haven’t specified her exact comments, but she was apparently “infatuated with the perpetrators of [the] Columbine [massacre].”

While the woman apparently didn’t threaten any specific school in her comments, authorities considered her a “credible threat,” and the majority of schools in the Denver metro area were closed Wednesday for safety and security reasons.

“I’m deeply grateful for the support of the Denver metro area superintendents and other state leaders. While Jeffco was the epicenter of this threat, it extended across the whole metro area and affected us all,” Jefferson County School Superintendent Jason Glass said.

Denver Public Schools said campuses would be open Thursday, and Denver Police said they will continue to collaborate with local schools to ensure safety for students.

“We are prioritizing our visibility in and around schools. Safety is always our first priority but we want to ensure our school communities feel safe and see uniformed officers as much as possible,” Denver Public Schools Chief of Safety Mike Eaton told Denverite on Wednesday.

Denver Public Schools and Denver Police issued a joint statement that said they would continue working closely to “keep schools safe, especially this week.” This Saturday, April 20, marks the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shootings.

“Due to the recent threat to schools in the Denver-metro area, along with the upcoming anniversary of the Columbine shootings on April 20, law enforcement officers from DPD and the DPS Department of Safety will have increased visibility of safety personnel on and around Denver school campuses,” the statement said. “This presence also applies to afterschool and athletics events.”

The FBI and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office were among the law enforcement agencies leading the investigation Wednesday.

“We want our schools to be a safe place for kids to learn and where they can be productive. And that’s why we (took) this threat seriously,” Sheriff Jeff Shrader said.

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