Cops identified 15-year-old Jared Michael Padgett as the heavily armed gunman who shot and killed a 14-year-old student inside an Oregon high school Tuesday before killing himself.
The shooting took place Tuesday morning at Reynolds High School in the Portland suburb of Troutdale, marking the 74th school shooting in the United States since the Sandy Hook Elementary School slayings in 2012.
Cops identified Padgett, a freshman, as the shooter in a Wednesday morning press conference that you can watch in the video above.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Padgett Took the Bus to School With a Guitar Case, Duffle Bag & AR-15
Police said Padgett was wearing a vest and camouflage helmet and armed with an AR-15 rifle with nine loaded magazines capable of firing hundreds of rounds. He had taken the bus to school carrying a guitar case and duffle bag, cops said.
Padgett shot popular 14-year-old soccer player Emilio Hoffman to death in a locker room adjacent to the school’s gymnasium and shot and wounded gym teacher Todd Rispler, who had heard gunshots and come to investigate.
The Oregonian reported that Padgett was putting on his vest and helmet in the locker room when Hoffman walked in, apparently merely at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Rispler, a Reynolds High grad who quarterbacked the school’s football team in the ’80s, was grazed in the hip by a bullet fired by Padgett as he started to run for help, but still managed to find his way to the school’s administrative offices and warm officials that Padget was on the loose — a maneuver that cops say likely saved countless lives.
After Rispler notified officials there was a shooter on the loose, teachers locked their doors and officials called the police.
Officers responded and confronted Padgett, who had made his way from the detached gymnasium into the hallway of the main part of the building. Cops then cornered Pasdgett in a bathroom, where the shooter hid in a stall and fired through the stall at an officer, who fired back, the Oregonian reported.
Padgett was found slumped over on the toilet, dead of what the medical examiner ruled a self-inflicted wound from the AR-15. The Oregonian reported Padgett also had a minor wound to his left heel from a bullet fired by the officer.
2. Padgett Was an ROTC Platoon Leader & His Brother Served in Afghanistan
According to classmates, Padgett was a member of the school’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, whose recruitment video you can watch above. The video starts by asking “does your life have no meaning” and then pictures a despondent-looking boy banging his head against a wall.
A student with the Twitter handle @josiee_man tweeted that Padgett was his platoon leader and would always mark him on time even when he showed up late.
Fuck I had JROTC with Jared brooooooo he was fuckin chill!!!!!! Always marked me on time when I would show up late af! HE WAS PLATOON LEADER
— HUEY (@josiee_man) June 11, 2014
Jared Padget’s brother, Lucas, is an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, according to his Facebook page.
Lucas Padgett attended Special Forces school at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center in Fort Bragg, his Facebook school said. The 24-year-old now works as a sales agent for Farmers Insurance. He graduated from Reynolds High in 2008.
3. His Facebook Likes Include Gun & Body Armor Companies & an Anti-Obama Group
Among his innocuous likes on Facebook, such as Old Spice and Best Buy, Padgett also liked Facebook pages for two tactical knife companies: Benchmade Knife Company and Karambit.com Tactical Knives.
He also liked the page M4 Assault rifles, Gwacs Armory, ATI Gunstocks, Black Aces Tactical, and Remington Arms Company and body armor companies such as AR500 Armor. He also liked political pages such as as, “Conservative American Military Veterans Against Barack Obama” and, “We WILL NOT Be Disarmed.”
4. He Was a Deacon in the Mormon Church
Padgett was a deacon in a local ward of the Mormon church, an acquaintance told the Oregonian.
Earl Milliron, 86, told the paper Padgett’s family attends the Hartley Park Ward in Gresham, where Padgett served as a deacon, a level of priesthood that boys are eligible to enter starting at age 12.
To become a deacon, a boy must be interviewed by the bishop and prove that he’s worthy. If he’s found worthy, he’s ordained by the laying on of hands.
Milliron told the paper that Padgett’s family has had its share of “ups and downs over the years” and that the teen’s parents, Michael and Kristina, broke up four or five years ago.
5. Padgett’s Friend Said the Shooter Looked ‘Pissed Off’ When He Saw Him Just Before the Shooting
On the day of the shooting, a friend of Padgett’s posted on Facebook asking had anyone seen his friend.
“I saw him today when I was walking to my 7th period class … I do not know but he looked mad really really mad like pissed off,” he wrote.
His pregnant sister, Chelsea Cooper, posted a Facebook status saying how worried she was about the ongoing situation at Reynolds High School on June 10.
A friend then posted on Cooper’s Facebook thread, asking “how can 1 family be so close to 2 public shootings?” According to Jared Padgett’s Facebook page, he lives in Clackamas, Oregon, the scene of a 2012 mall shooting.
In that incident, Jacob Tyler Roberts, killed two people and wounded another before committing suicide. In that incident, Roberts wore tactical gear and a hockey mask.
One of Padgett’s classmates told the Oregonian Padgett occasionally lost his temper, and that one such occasion came in the past week or so, when Padgett grew angry after giving a presentation in a language arts class on a book about Adolf Hitler.
The student, 15-year-old freshman Kayla Ensign, told the paper Padgett, talking about the Holocaust, something like “this is life now” and “everything really does happen for a reason.”
Some of Padgett’s classmates disagreed with parts of the presentation, which Ensign said promoted Padgett to get “really uptight” and start raising his voice.