Police: Oregon school shooter was freshman and heavily armed

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by Associated Press, KING and KGW Staff

KING5.com

Posted on June 11, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 11 at 10:11 PM

TROUTDALE, Ore.  - Police say a 15-year-old gunman at an Oregon high school was a freshman at Reynolds High School and had an assault-style rifle, handgun and several magazines of ammunition during the attack.

Police also said Wednesday that an autopsy determined that suspect Jared Michael Padgett died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Tuesday attack.

Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson said Padgett rode the bus to school with an AR-15-type of rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, a large knife and nine loaded magazines hidden in a guitar case and duffel bag,

Padgett got the weapons from his family home, somehow breaking through the security locks, Anderson said.

"He entered the boys’ locker room in the building that housed the gymnasium. He spent a period of time in the locker room and during that time murdered a fellow student," Anderson added.

Police say the shooting occurred in a gym detached from the main school building, with 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman killed in the boys' locker room.

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.

Padgett moved to the hallway. He was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"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.

Police say the gun wore a non-ballistic vest used for carrying ammunition and other items. He also was wearing a multi-sport helmet with a camouflage design.

They say no link has been found between the shooter and the student who was killed. No motive was released.

"Given the weapons and the amount of ammunition that the shooter was carrying, the early notification and the initial law enforcement response were critical. Every one of the teachers and students in that school did the exact right thing in a very difficult situation," said Anderson.

Police say they were not aware of any previous threats to the school or incidents involving the shooter. They say so far there were no obvious warning signs.

Classes were cancelled Wednesday at Reynolds High School since part of the school remains an active crime scene.

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