The family of the Oregon high school shooter who killed another student before turning the gun on himself have broken their silence, saying they are “deeply confused and shocked” by their son’s actions.
Michael Padgett and his ex-wife, Kristina, delivered a handwritten statement to Fox 12 in Oregon on Friday, speaking out for the first time since their 15-year-old son, Jared, opened fire at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, where he fatally shot freshman Emilio Hoffman and wounded a teacher before taking his own life.
“We are at a loss as to how and why this tragedy unfolded,” the statement read. “Our family does not condone and has never promoted violence or hatred toward anyone.”
Padgett entered the school Tuesday, the next-to-last day of classes, armed with an AR-15 rifle, a handgun, a large knife and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, police have said.
He walked into a locker room, where he shot and killed Hoffman before shooting Todd Rispler in the hip. Despite his wounds, Rispler made it to the school’s front office and started lock-down procedures. Police have said his actions were integral to ending the situation quickly.
Padgett was confronted by police officers after walking through several hallways with weapons drawn, and killed himself after a brief exchange of gunfire with the officers.
Investigators have not determined a link between Padgett and Hoffman, who was 14.
“We are deeply sorrowful for the family of Emilio Hoffman and share their pain, heartache, and grief, for the loss of their oldest son and brother of the family,” the statement continued.
The family said they never saw the seething anger that apparently fueled Jared as he opened fire on the high school grounds.
“The values that we have taught our children are love in Jesus Christ, compassion, forgiveness and patience,” the statement read. “These were all natural attributes we observed with Jared daily.”
The Reynolds High School attack was the latest mass shooting across the country in recent weeks. Days earlier, a Las Vegas couple killed two police officers and another man before turning their guns on themselves, and a Seattle man killed one and injured three on a college campus this month.
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