Police: 15-year-old Oregon student was armed with assault rifle

Police: 15-year-old Oregon student was armed with assault rifle

TROUTDALE, Ore. – Police say a 15-year-old Reynolds High School freshman was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and other weapons when he killed a fellow student and shot and wounded a teacher Tuesday morning.

Troutdale Police on Wednesday identified the shooter as Jared Michael Padgett. An autopsy confirmed he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Investigators said Padgett rode a school bus to Reynolds High School on Tuesday with a guitar case and a duffel bag containing an AR-15 rifle and nine loaded magazines.

Padgett entered the boy’s locker room when he arrived at school, where he murdered 14-year-old freshman Emilio Hoffman, police said. The locker room and gym are detached from the main school building.

Investigators have not established a link between Padgett and Hoffman.

Physical education teacher Todd Rispler encountered Padgett in the locker room and was shot in the hip while running to the school office. Investigators said Rispler made it to the office and started the process of locking down the school.

“I cannot emphasize enough the role that Mr. Rispler and the responding officers played in saving many, many lives yesterday,” said Troudale Police Chief Scott Anderson. “Given the weapons and amount of ammunition that the shooter was carrying, the early notification and the initial law enforcement response were critical. Every one of the teachers and students in that school did the exact right thing in a very difficult situation.”

Padgett moved into the school hallway, where police said he encountered officers who had entered the building. Padgett went into a restroom. At some point, there was an exchange of gunfire between Padgett and the two officers, police said. Neither of the officers was hit.

Police said Padgett was also armed with a semi-automatic handgun and a knife. He did not use either of those weapons during the attack.

Padgett obtained the weapons from his family’s home, according to police.

“The weapons had been secured, but he defeated the security measures,” Anderson said.

Padgett was wearing a vest used to carry ammunition and other items, Anderson said. He was also wearing a helmet with a camouflage design.

Anderson said it would be "inappropriate" to discuss a possible motive for the murder at this time.

In the aftermath, Governor John Kitzhaber called the violence senseless, the Troutdale mayor praised the police response, and the school district superintendent said she had once hoped she could get through her career without a school shooting.

More resources for those affected

Crisis counselors will be available at Mount Hood Community College for anyone who needs to talk with someone about the shooting. They will be in the gym, located at 26000 SE Stark Street, until 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Anyone who needs to talk to someone about the shooting may also call Multnomah County crisis help line at (503) 988-4888.

Anyone who has information about the shooting can call the Troutdale police tip line: 503-618-7633.

To contact students call the Reynolds School District at 503-661-7200.

"Talking to Children about Traumatic Events" (pdf) - From the Tigard-Tualatin School District.

This breaking news story will be updated. Watch KATU News starting at 4 p.m. for team coverage of the shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.