LOS ANGELES: US police named the gunman in America’s latest deadly school shooting on Wednesday as 15-year-old Jared Michael Padgett, saying he had multiple weapons and could have killed many more people.
Padgett, who carried his guns in a guitar-case and duffel bag and wore a camouflage helmet, killed himself after shooting one student dead at Reynolds High School in Oregon, they said.
He obtained his weapons—a military-style AR-15 type rifle, a semi-automatic pistol, a large knife and hundreds of rounds of ammunition—from a locker at his family home.
“The weapons had been secured, but he defeated the security measures,” said Scott Anderson, police chief of Troutdale, outside Portland where Tuesday’s attack took place.
After arriving on a school bus, Padgett entered a boys’ locker room, where he murdered 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman. A teacher, Todd Rispler, suffered a grazing bullet wound to the hip as he fled.
Despite his injury Rispler made his way to the school office to sound the lockdown alarm, as Padgett—dressed in jacket designed to carry ammunition and a camouflage sports helmet— emerged from the locker room.
“As the shooter was moving through the main hallway he encountered officers who were starting to enter from two separate hallways. At that time he moved into a small restroom,” Anderson said.
“There was an exchange of gunfire between one of the first responding officers and the shooter,” he said, adding that, based on an autopsy, “the shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Anderson hailed the role of Rispler and the first responding officers. “I cannot emphasize enough the role that Mr. Rispler and the responding officers in saving many, many lives yesterday [Wednesday in Manila],” he said.
The Oregon shooting was the fourth in three weeks in the western the United States, following incidents in Santa Barbara, California, Seattle, and Las Vegas last weekend.
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama called for national “soul searching,” saying mass shootings were “off the charts” in a way no other advanced country would tolerate.