Oregon school shooter was in JROTC, "liked" gunmakers on Facebook

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Story highlights

  • Jared Padgett was a member of the JROTC
  • His sister publicly wondered about his well-being on Facebook
  • He was a fan of guns and heavy metal, according to his Facebook page
  • Padgett killed Emilio Hoffman, 14, before killing himself, police say

In the immediate aftermath of the Oregon school shooting, Chelsea Cooper turned to social media to express concern for her brother.

"Praying for everyone at Reynolds!" she posted on Facebook. "My little brother is still there & I'm freakin out! I hate being states away :-( So stressful!."

Her brother, Jared Padgett, 15, was a freshman at Reynolds High School in Troutdale. Cooper's fears about her brother were realized, but likely not in the way she imagined.

Padgett was the shooter who killed another student and apparently took his own life, police said.

Police found the teen's body in a restroom, law enforcement officials said.

Police: Shooter and victim not linked
Police: Shooter and victim not linked

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His victim, Emilio Hoffman, 14, was also a freshman. He was shot and killed in a locker room.

The motive behind the shooting is under investigation.

On social media he claimed to be a fan of heavy metal and weapons, but those who knew Padgett describe him in terms that don't appear to fit the profile of killer.

During seventh and eighth grades, Padgett took part in track and field at Reynolds Middle School. He was also a member of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

A former teacher and coach there called him "a leader."

"He was a hard worker and wanted to please everyone," the teacher said through tears. "He was just a good kid."

The teacher said Padgett idolized his older brother who was serving in the military.

Padgett's Facebook page reveals few clues, but does show that he was a fan of weapons and heavy metal music.

His "likes" that he shared with his Facebook friends included knife and gun manufacturers, as well as makers of body armor. According to his profile, he was a fan of first-person shooter video games, and deathcore, metalcore and Christian metal bands.

Before Padgett's fate was known, his sister's friends tried to offer words of comfort on Facebook.

"I am praying for him to be okay," one friend posted.

"They keep saying the shooter is dead but I wanna know who it is!!! I'm so stressed right now," Cooper responded.

They joked that Jared needed to get a cell phone after the incident was over so they could get in touch with him easier.

The chain of comments ended around midday Tuesday, a few hours after the shooting took place.

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