TROUTDALE — An armed student walked into Reynolds High School just after 8:00 on Tuesday morning, shot and killed a classmate and grazed a track coach before taking his own life.
Police say the shooter was armed with an AR-15 type rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, nine loaded magazines capable of carrying hundreds of rounds, a knife and non-ballistic vest. He got all the weapons from home.
15-year-old freshman Jared Padgett took the bus to school and walked into a locker room in the gym carrying a guitar case and duffel bag loaded with the weapons.
There was an exchange of gunfire between an officer and Padgett, but the medical examiner found that he died from a self-inflicted shot. Using a robotic camera, police moved in after finding him slumped over in a bathroom stall.
He shot and killed 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman for no apparent reason. Authorities say there is no link between shooter and victim.
“When we attended the candlelight vigil, we were humbled by the response from his friends, teachers and community. Emilio loved his friends, and his friends loved him,” said the boy’s mother, Jennifer.
Emilio’s life was all about soccer, but he also enjoyed science and history. Loved ones say he was always laughing and smiling.
Teacher and track coach Todd Rispler is being called a hero for saving hundreds of lives by going straight to the office to start lockdown procedures, despite being grazed by a bullet on his hip.
“We just saw people running everywhere, people screaming. We didn’t know what was going on. We just all went to the back of the classroom,” sophomore Herrardo told us.
Students were escorted out of the school with hands on their heads, searched and loaded onto buses. They were taken to the Fred Meyer store in Wood Village and processed one-by-one before being reunited with loved ones. Many waited anxiously with hugs and kisses.
“I felt so bad because I called my son and he’s not answering the phone and I see the news. I’m so scared, but I see him. I’m so happy,” said a relieved mother waiting for her son.
“This is a very tragic day, one that I had hoped would never, ever be,” said Superintendent Linda Florence.
During a search of the school, police found a gun on the brother of a student, but say it’s not related to the shooting. Read more here