PORTLAND -- The gunman who killed one student and wounded a teacher at Reynolds High School Tuesday was heavily armed and identified Wednesday as a freshman at the school.
Jared Michael Padgett, 15, rode the bus to school with an assault-style rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, a knife and nine loaded magazines hidden in his guitar case and duffel bag, according to Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson. He was also wearing a non-ballistic vest and a helmet with a camouflage design.
He entered the school through the gymnasium and moments later, killed fellow freshman Emilio Hoffman in the locker room, although police have no indication that the 14-year-old was specifically targeted.
Padgett got the weapons from his family's home, but he "defeated the security measures," Anderson said.
PE teacher Todd Rispler encountered Padgett in the locker room and suffered a gunshot wound as he ran to alert the school. Somehow, he still managed to initiate the lockdown that likely saved lives.
"I cannot emphasize enough the role that Mr. Rispler and the responding officers played in saving many, many lives yesterday," Anderson said. "Given the weapons and amount of ammunition that the shooter was carrying, the early notification and the initial law enforcement response were critical."
So much so, that police got to the school before Padgett even had a chance to make his way into a busier area, where hundreds of students were filing into class that morning.
"As the shooter was moving through the main hallway, he encountered officers who were starting to enter from two separate doorways. At that time, he moved into a small restroom," Anderson said. "We know there was an exchange of gunfire between one of the first responding officers and the shooter."
Anderson said an autopsy later confirmed that Padgett died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a school restroom.
Although the shooting appeared to be well-planned, police have not established a motive and the investigation continues.
Witnesses who saw Padgett inside the school were encouraged to call the Troutdale police tip line at (503) 618-7633. Police were also asking that any photos or video which may offer clues the case be sent via email.
Background: Student killed, teacher wounded at Reynolds High