Troutdale shooting suspect Jared Michael Padgett argued with classmates about Adolph Hitler in the days before police say he walked into Reynolds High School armed with an assault rifle, killing a classmate and wounding another before killing himself, classmates say.
Police are revealing details about the 15-year-old shooting suspect just one day after his shooting spree at the Portland, Oregon, school. They say the student was armed with an AR-15 rifle, one that was owned legally by his parents but which Padgett allegedly stole. He opened fire inside the school, killing 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman and wounding gym teacher Todd Rispler.
The Troutdale shooting suspect rode the school bus in the morning armed with nine loaded magazines holding several hundred rounds, all hidden inside of a guitar case. Police believe he may have had intentions to kill many others.
The shooting started just after 8 am on Tuesday and ended when Padgett took his own life with a single gunshot inside of a locker room bathroom.
Those who knew Jared Michael Padgett said he was a quiet student who served as a deacon at his Mormon church.
“He was just normal,” said 17-year-old Edgar Machiel, who rode the bus with Padgett. “It doesn’t make any sense. It’s hard to explain.”
Others had a hard time believing that Padgett could be capable of such violence.
“I remember when we had a good amount of snow during my eighth-grade year and school was delayed two hours,” said a neighbor and onetime friend of the Troutdale shooting suspect. “We all had the largest snowball fight and it was so much fun. We showed up to school soaking wet and had no change of clothes.
“I’ll miss him, not for what he did, but for being apart of my childhood. I just thought I’d share this because I don’t want the negatives being the only thing released about him.”
But he was also from a military family that many in the community say was obsessed with guns, and Jared was known to argue his beliefs with classmates. Kaylah Ensign, a freshman at Reynolds High School, said Padgett argued with students about Adolph Hitler just days before the shooting, saying about the Holocaust, “this is life now” and “everything really does happen for a reason.”
Kaylah said she believed him to be saying that the world has both good and evil, but other classmates believed he was justifying the Holocaust.
“He got really uptight over it and started raising his voice,” she said.
Troutdale shooting suspect Jared Michael Padgett may have left some clues to the Tuesday’s rampage. The 15-year-old liked two tactical knife companies on Facebook, along with M4 assault rifles, and political pages that included “Conservative American Military Veterans Against Barack Obama” and “We WILL NOT Be Disarmed.”