Young soccer fan got a real kick out of life; Community expresses grief through Twitter, Facebook

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: THE HOFFMAN FAMILY - Emilio Hoffman, 14, was known for his charismatic personality, always trying to be the center of attention.Less than an hour before shots rang out at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, at 7:20 a.m., Emilio Hoffman posted this last message on Twitter, the social media site, saying, “lets just end school with a bunch of stressful test...yay..”

They were fitting words for a young man who was described by family and friends as a boy who was funny, happy and loved to laugh.

A public memorial service for Emilio Hoffman is planned at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 22, at the Good Shepherd Community Church, 28986 S.E. Haley Road, Boring.

Hoffman, a 14-year-old freshman, died not long after posting that message, shot and killed by a fellow student armed with an assault-style rifle in the boys locker room at the school on Tuesday morning, June 10.

The shooter was 15-year-old Jared Michael Padgett, also a freshman at the school.

In a press conference Tuesday and on behalf of Hoffman’s family, Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson said “Emilio was a great kid who was loved by all.”

Emilio Hoffman is remembered by those who knew him as a great friend, a well-liked soccer player and an all-around good kid.

A message from family

Emilio’s mother, Jennifer Hoffman, said the following in a statement released Wednesday on behalf of the Hoffman family.

“When we attended the candlelight vigil last night, we were humbled by the response from his friends, teachers and community. Emilio loved his friends, and his friends loved him. To those friends we say — be happy like Emilio. Smile like him. Laugh like him.

“You couldn’t be around Emilio without laughing! Anyone who has ever met Emilio laughed with him. He had to be the center of attention at all times!

“To the parents out there — love your kids. Hug your kids every day. And live with no regrets. I don’t have any regrets with Emilio. None. And he knew that.

“Thank you for all of your support. It has provided comfort, and it is good to know how much Emilio was loved ... not just by us, but by everybody.”

Who was Emilio?

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: THE HOFFMAN FAMILY - Emilio Hoffman was killed Tuesday in the shooting at Reynolds High School.Emilio Hoffman was the son of Troutdale parents Jennifer Hoffman and Abraham Soriano. He lived in the Gresham and Troutdale area his whole life.

He attended Kelly Creek Elementary, Gresham Arthur Academy, Reynolds Arthur Academy and Walt Morey Middle School.

Hoffman also had a younger sister and twin brothers who attended Reynolds Arthur Academy in Troutdale. He also had another younger brother and foster siblings.

His mother said he enjoyed science and history, but his true love was sports. Over the years he played T-ball and football, but when he found soccer, that was it, she said. “Soccer was his whole life.”

A love of soccer

Reynolds boys soccer coach Allan Berry got to know Hoffman the summer going into his freshman year during the team’s conditioning camp. Hoffman played as midfielder on Reynolds’ junior varsity soccer team last fall.

“Emilio was quiet, yet personable,” Berry said. “It was important to him that he did the right thing. He was a real good kid.”

The two last spoke a week ago, when Hoffman assured the coach he’d be in good shape for August tryouts. Hoffman had opted out of conditioning camp because he plays on a club soccer team.

He had played for the Total Futbol Academy Barcelona-Oregon, but according to the coaching director, had for the last couple of years been playing for the LA Amistad soccer club.

Berry said Hoffman was looking forward to the season.

“He would have certainly been a candidate for varsity,” he said. Now players are having a hard time starting this summer’s program without him.

“It definitely takes the wind out of the sails,” Berry said.

The team plans to honor Hoffman this season.

Fellow Reynolds soccer players were among hundreds of students, family members and friends who lit candles in Hoffman’s honor at a vigil held Tuesday night near the soccer fields at Walt Morey Middle School.

Community in mourning

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Alexie Malone, a freshman at Reynolds High School, holds up a T-shirt that she was giving away to people who arrived Wednesday at a makeshift memorial outside Reynolds High School. After the shooting, social media outlets erupted with prayers and condolences for Hoffman and his family.

Hoffman had a girlfriend, Alyssa Karm, whose Facebook page was flooded with condolences and prayers for her loss. The two had been together since May 24, according to Hoffman’s Facebook page.

In tweets posted after the shooting, Karm called Hoffman her first love.

“#RIPEmilioHoffman I love you so much and I always will. You were my first kiss and the first guy I truly loved. I miss you so much.”

One Twitter post by Kevin Williams said of Hoffman, “You were a great Raider, great soccer player and a great person.”

“I just woke up and the tears just won’t stop,” Rhea Reyes said on Twitter. “I miss him.”

Another young woman wrote the last thing she remembered is Hoffman making her laugh.

Ismail Kljucanin, 16, posted on his Twitter feed, “Rest in peace Emilio Hoffman. You will never be forgotten. You were part of our Reynolds soccer family and it shouldn’t have been you.”

The #PlayForEmilio was soon trending among other players posting on Twitter.

Kljucanin, a member of the Reynolds varsity soccer team, said the last time he saw Hoffman was during conditioning camp two weeks ago.

When he heard Emilio was the shooting victim, he was moved to tears. “I was so sad,” he said. “It just struck home. I knew him, I played with him. I helped him out.”

Hoffman wore jersey No. 29, prompting the Portland Timbers soccer team to observe a moment of silence in honor of Hoffman at the 29-minute mark of Wednesday night’s game.

In a pre-game ceremony against the New York Yankees, the Seattle Mariners and fans also observed a moment of silence for Hoffman, along with Paul Lee of Portland, who was killed by a gunman June 5 at Seattle Pacific University.

Christopher Cramer, TFA Barcelona-Oregon’s coaching director, said Hoffman and his family were close with the club. Hoffman had played for the club when he was younger, and his little sister and brothers recently joined.

This spring, Hoffman stepped in as a volunteer coach for his twin brothers’ soccer program.

“He did a fantastic job,” Cramer said. He praised Hoffman for his help with the kids and his passion for the game.

Hoffman is shown on the club’s Facebook page, surrounded by the group of boys he coached.

Cramer said the young man had plans to be an assistant coach for the club’s summer program starting next week.

TFA Barcelona-Oregon plans to organize a scholarship fund in Hoffman’s name to help provide soccer opportunities to families and players in financial need.

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