PORTLAND, Ore. — The parents of a teenager who fatally shot a classmate at an Oregon high school released a statement today in which they apologized for their son’s actions, and said they never promoted violence or hatred.
Michael Padgett and his ex-wife Kristina said they are at a loss for how and why the shooting occurred. The letter states they taught Jared Padgett and their other children the values of compassion, forgiveness, patience and love in Jesus Christ.
“These were all natural attributes we observed within Jared daily,” the statement said. “Knowing that these are the values that we have taught our children, we are horrified and distraught by the actions perpetrated by our son.”
The statement was hand-delivered this afternoon to KPTV, the FOX affiliate in Portland. It came three days after Jared Padgett, 15, opened fire after arriving at his high school east of Portland heavily armed.
The freshman killed 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman in the boy’s locker room and another bullet grazed physical education teacher Todd Rispler. When confronted by officers, Padgett went into a bathroom and died from a self-inflicted gunshot, police said.
Investigators have yet to reveal a possible motive, and the statement shed no light on what may have led the devout Mormon and aspiring serviceman to become a school shooter.
The parents said they have cooperated with detectives through an interview process that has left them “deeply confused and shocked by the information delivered.” The statement did not elaborate.
Included in the letters were apologies to Hoffman’s family and friends, Rispler and the community.