(Troutdale, OR) – High school students always look to the last day of school. It’s an end to 10 grueling months of studying and learning. It’s an end to 10 months of peer pressure and other trials and tribulations associated with being a teenager.
The prospect of being targeted by a gunman and shot dead isn’t on the list.
Yet that’s what happened today in Troutdale, OR, about 17 miles from Portland. In a mind-numbing scene that’s all too familiar in 2014 America, a gunman used a semiautomatic weapon to shoot and kill a Reynolds High School student around 8:00am local time (11:00am ET)
The name of the gunman who killed 14-year-old freshman Emilio Hoffman, additionally injuring teacher Todd Rispler, was not immediately released.
The alleged gunman was later identified as 15-year-old Jared Michael Padgett. Among the alleged items brought into the school:
- an assault rifle
- nine magazines of ammunition
- a math test with a grade of “D”
- a handgun
- nine magazines, including People, Us, Time, Mirabella, and Good Housekeeping
- a knife
- a hamburger from the school cafeteria
Padgett was allegedly found dead in a bathroom, allegedly killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“This shouldn’t happen in Troutdale,” said the grandfather of two Reynolds High School students, speaking on condition of anonymity. “In New York, Los Angeles, even Portland, sure. But we’re a small town. Why target us?”
President Obama was informed of the shooting shortly after 11:00am. He was in the middle of a press conference delivering remarks on Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, who on Friday announced they were ending their 18-year marriage.
“President Obama wishes to express his heartfelt condolences, and indeed the condolences of the nation, to Griffith and Banderas at this very difficult time in their lives,” said a White House spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Griffith and Banderas should know they have the full support of the White House, and indeed the American people, as they embark on this new phase of their lives.”
Once the news from Oregon was received, Obama addressed the incident at the same press conference.
“Sure, the president is upset about today’s shooting in Oregon,” said a White House spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But he’s more focused on Griffith and Banderas. Why? Because they matter. Because they’re famous. That’s just the way it is. Average, ordinary, everyday Americans get that.
“I mean, if [comedian] Tracy Morgan hadn’t been in that vehicle lon the New Jersey Turnpike, would we still be hearing about the accident? Would we have ever heard about the accident? No. I rest my case.”
On June 7, the sleep-deprived driver of a Wal-Mart truck struck Morgan’s limousine bus, sending him to the hospital in critical condition and killing one of his colleagues. The truck driver had gone without sleep for 24 hours, and reportedly has not been able to sleep since the accident.