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Who was Jared Padgett? As the investigation continues, students had few clues


by: COPIED FROM FACEBOOK - Jared Padgett had an interest in guns and wanted to join the military.The day after Emilio Hoffman was shot dead in the locker room of his school gym Tuesday, June 10, teenagers came and went and mingled around a makeshift shrine where dozens of flowers lay propped up at the base of a large concrete sign with “Reynolds High School” emblazoned across the top.

Someone had dropped off a box of colored T-shirts in different sizes with the legend on front, “Rest In Peace, Emilio” surrounded by angel wings.

Alexie Malone and her friend Dawson Anderson, both freshmen at the school, took it upon themselves to pass out the shirts as they greeted others who came to show respect for Hoffman.

Malone said that just four minutes before he was killed, Hoffman had tweeted, “Let's just end school with a bunch of stressful test...yay.”

Hoffman was very popular, Anderson said, and “really nice.”

“He was always joking and he was popular but not rude,” Malone said. “He was just a nice person.”

But although they didn't know him well, they also had a high opinion of the gunman, Jared Padgett, also a freshman at the school.

“I saw him in my P.E. class a lot, and he seemed like a really good kid,” Malone said. “He was smart and in JROTC and wanted to be a Marine.”

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Police and emergency crews arrived en mass at Reynolds High School following a shooting that took place Tuesday morning.Several of the students at the makeshift memorial outside the school knew Hoffman, but didn't know Padgett as well.

Malone called Padgett's friend Mackencie Arellano, who agreed to talk about him in a phone interview even though she was still deeply shaken.

“He was a very good friend of mine, and I'm having a rough time and taking it pretty hard,” she said. “He was a very good student and had good grades and was in the JROTC. He had a great future and was beloved by many. He was a very good friend, but I guess I didn't know him as well as I thought.”

Arellano said she always greeted Hoffman in the hallways, but didn't know him well, except that he was well-liked. “I know he had a very big future ahead of him, but now it's all gone,” she said.

Arellano said she believed Padgett also had a bright future, but that “he is going to be questioned the most,” meaning his actions will receive intense scrutiny.

“He was interested in the Army and talked about guns, but I thought it was just a hobby, to go hunting,” she said.

by: CONTRIBUTED: REYNOLDS SCHOOL DISTRICT - School photo of shooter Jared PadgettReynolds High sophomore Claudia Delgado didn't know Jared Padgett well, but she sat next to him in freshman science class the day before the shooting that killed Hoffman and wounded teacher Todd Rispler.

She said Padgett seemed perfectly normal and participated in a class discussion to review for the final exam.

“He seemed like a really good, normal kid, even though he showed off about the guns he had,” she said.

Delgado said Padgett was outgoing, even to the point of talking back to teachers, and that he liked to talk about cars and flirt with girls.

He never missed class and got good grades, she said. Padgett also ran varsity track in the 200 meter relay.

As the investigation continues, more information no doubt will come to light, but at this point there's no indication that anyone thought Padgett would shoot and kill a fellow student and wound a teacher as he did on June 10.

Lauren Malone, Alexie's mother, stopped by the memorial for a while to ponder the tragedy and vent the frustration of many.

“What went wrong in that kid's mind?” she said.

Sgt. Cary Kaer of the Troutdale Police Department said no one in the department had ever interacted with Padgett and he had no criminal record.

To many, he was a good kid from a good family who wanted to join the Army and loved guns. He admired his older brother, Lucas, and wanted to serve in the military as Lucas had.

Lucas' Facebook page features a scene from somewhere in the Middle East and a profile photo of him in camouflage fatigues holding an assault rifle.

Before it was taken down the day after the shooting, Jared Padgett's own Facebook page listed many friends.

— KOIN 6 News contributed to this story.




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