PORTLAND Ore. (Reuters) - A teenager who killed a classmate and injured a teacher at an Oregon high school stole the rifle he used in the shooting from his brother, a U.S. Army reservist, court documents obtained on Friday showed.
Jared Padgett, 15, used an AR-15 rifle belonging to his older brother Lucas when he opened fire at Reynolds High School on June 10 in the Portland suburb of Troutdale, according to two affidavits requesting search warrants for the Padgett home and Jared Padgett’s school locker.
The documents say Lucas Padgett went to a designated parking lot for families to reunite with students the day of the shooting but returned home when he could not find his brother, only to realize his rifle was missing from a bedroom the two shared.
Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson had said after the shooting that Jared Padgett had obtained weapons from home and that they were secured, but said “he defeated the security measures.”
Lucas Padgett later identified for police a green, Army-style duffle bag his brother was carrying when police say he fatally shot 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman and wounded a gym teacher before trading fire with police and killing himself in a bathroom stall, the documents said.
The shooting, the third outbreak of gun violence at a U.S. high school or college campus in less than a month, drew the ire of President Barack Obama, who expressed frustration over the inability of Washington lawmakers to tighten gun control measures.
Police said Jared Padgett was carrying a semiautomatic handgun that he did not use, as well as a large knife and nine loaded ammunition magazines with a capacity for several hundred rounds. Police seized more weapons and ammunition at the Padgett home as well as a journal, the documents said.
“All personnel are working diligently to bring the investigation to a conclusion,“ a police statement said. ”Due to the ongoing investigation there will be no further information released regarding the information within the search warrants.”
Army officials declined to speak directly about the case, except to stress that the Army has a strict policy on keeping weapons under lock and key and to indicate the type of gun used, an AR-15, was not likely a military-issued weapon.
“Any kind of weapon that is signed out or that is assigned to a soldier, that soldier is, under policy, not allowed to take that weapon home,” Army Reserve spokesman Captain Eric Connor said, adding the chances of a soldier taking a weapon without permission were slim.
“It would be very difficult because the weapons are locked in a cage and then they are padlocked and then they are put in an arms room,” he added, saying a missing weapon would have triggered a full-scale investigation.
Police have said there is no known link between Hoffman and Padgett and have not revealed a possible motive.
Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Bill Trott