Skip to main content

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

By Ed Payne, CNN
updated 12:43 PM EDT, Thu June 12, 2014
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

(CNN) -- 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: Shooter and victim not linked

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

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.

A closer look: How many school shootings since Newtown

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
School shootings
What if police could pinpoint where a school shooter is? Some schools are betting on it as they install technology that will be wired to local law enforcement.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Thu June 19, 2014
After a shooting at an Oregon high school, many media outlets, including CNN, reported that there have been 74 school shootings in the past 18 months.
updated 9:36 AM EDT, Mon September 30, 2013
School security plans have changed to include arming teachers, adding police officers and armed security guards, and changing how schools are designed.
updated 5:24 PM EST, Fri December 12, 2014
Here is a list of incidents of random elementary, middle and high school (excludes colleges and universities) violence with fatalities, from 1927 to the present.
updated 1:02 PM EDT, Wed April 24, 2013
Dr. Angela Sauaia intended to study the impact modernized playground equipment had on lowering children's injury rates. They ended up studying kids' injury rates from guns instead.
updated 10:12 AM EDT, Fri April 19, 2013
Katie Lyles, who teaches third graders in Colorado, was a student at Columbine during the massacre 14 years ago.
updated 1:44 PM EDT, Wed May 1, 2013
What do you do with the guns in your house? This question appears to be one that parents are asking more often before sending their kids on play dates and sleepovers.
updated 10:14 PM EST, Tue January 14, 2014
Opinion: Parents need to be proactive when it comes to their children's school security plans. Every parent should ask their school administrators the following questions.
updated 4:25 PM EDT, Fri September 13, 2013
When Nelba Marquez-Greene lost her 6-year-old daughter in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, she chose to cope with her loss in a unique way: by writing a letter.
updated 9:16 AM EDT, Sat August 17, 2013
A Maryland company that makes bulletproof whiteboards has contracted with a university seeking to offer its professors greater protection in the event of a school shooting.
updated 12:31 PM EDT, Tue July 16, 2013
Along with math, science and social studies, gun safety could soon be part of the first-grade curriculum in some Missouri public schools.
updated 9:59 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Some parents say recent school shootings confirm the need to protect children and teach them to defend themselves using guns.
updated 5:57 PM EST, Wed January 30, 2013
The Dunblane massacre, which killed 16 children and a teacher, stunned Scotland, but what did the UK do to try to prevent such a tragedy happening again?
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Fri April 12, 2013
Opinion: The AAP says the best preventive measure against firearm injuries and deaths is not to own a gun. However, if you choose to have firearms in your home, adhere to these rules for gun safety.
updated 10:51 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Federal law makes it illegal to sell or give a firearm to anyone who "has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution" but private sellers and gun shows have no background check requirement.
updated 4:37 PM EST, Wed February 27, 2013
Nearly three-fourths of the nation's teachers say they personally would not bring a firearm to their school if allowed.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT