GRESHAM, Ore. -- Family and friends gathered Monday in Gresham to remember and bury 15-year-old Jared Padgett. They still struggle with his actions last Tuesday at Reynolds High School in Troutdale.
“They’re hurting. They’re numb,” said family friend Deon Stommer.
Tuesday, Padgett shot and killed fellow student Emilio Hoffman, wounded a gym teacher then killed himself.
Padgett’s father, Michael learned about the shooting when his other children called him, Stommer said.
On Tuesday, Michael Padgett waited in a grocery store parking lot with all the other Reynolds parents wondering when Jared would be released from the school. He had no idea his son was involved, according to family friends.
Around 2:30pm, Michael Padgett’s cell phone rang. Police asked him to go to the command center where he learned the awful truth.
According to Stommer, Michael Padgett struggled to understand, even pleading with his son’s lifeless body for answers.
“The other day when they first saw Jared, Michael took Jared’s face in his hands as he kneeled over him and asked why, 'Oh my beloved son why? What happened?” Stommer said.
Monday family and friends gathered at a LDS Church on Southeast 182nd Avenue in Gresham to tell stories and remember the Jared they knew and loved. They also apologized publicly to the Hoffman family and the staff and students of Reynolds High School. And they looked for comfort in their grief.
“They’re tired. They’re so hurt they don’t know where to turn," said Stommer. "They just don’t know where to turn. And that’s why the support of so many people and the community reaching out is huge to them. It’s meant a lot."