DA: No charges against family in Reynolds High School shooting
The Multnomah County District Attorney has decided not to charge any family members in Jared Padgett's fatal shooting at Reynolds High School.
The DA could have charged members of Padgett's family for allowing Jared, a student at the school, to obtain the AR-15 rifle used in the shooting. However, the DA has determined the rifle was secured before Jared obtained it, which is a legal defense in such cases.
According to a Nov. 10 memo by a senior deputy district attorney released Wednesday, the rifle had been secured in a gun box that was still locked when investigators opened it.
Charges could have been brought under a Multnomah County ordinance that prohibits unauthorized access to firearms by minors. The ordinance does not apply in cases where a minor illegally enters property to obtain the firearm, or where the firearm is secured in a locked container or disabled by a device that a reasonable person would conclude prevents a minor from using it without authorization.
Jared, 15, shot and killed fellow student Emilio Hoffman, 14, at Reynold High School on June 10. Padgett also shot and wounded teacher Todd Rispler before taking his own life as police closed in.
At the time of the shooting, Jared lived with his father, Michael, and other siblings in the family's home in the 18000 block of Northeast Couch Street in Gresham. Jared was sharing his bedroom with his older brother, Lucas, who is in the U.S. Army Reserve and had recently returned from Afghanistan.
The weapon Jared used was a semiautomatic AR-15, commonly called an "assault rifle." According to search warrant documents released in June, the rifle belongs to Lucas and Jared obtained it in the bedroom they shared. Jared brought the rifle to the school along with a green duffle bag owned by his brother.
The search warrant documents also say investigators seized numerous other weapons and ammunition from the home. In the bedroom shared by Jared and Lucas, investigators found multiple knives under the bunk bed. They also found several boxes of ammunition, a sword, a Daisy pellet gun and a .22 caliber rifle in the closet.
On one of the beds, police found a booklet titled Operation Military Kids, a program that helps military families deal with deployment.
In another bedroom, investigators found a .22 caliber revolver, a .22 caliber rifle, a .300 Winchester magnum rifle, a shotgun and boxes of ammunition in the closet.
A Multnomah County judge cleared the way for the ordinance to be used against members of the Padgett family in last August. In an unrelated civil suit challenging the legality of the ordinance, Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Dailey declined to say it does not apply in Gresham, where Jared obtained the rifle.
The suit had been filed before the shooting by several residents of cities in the county who argued the county couldn't legally impose gun control regulations on cities within its boundaries. Dailey ruled ruled the ordinance "may" apply in Gresham because the City Council has not adopted its own version.
The Multnomah County Commission approved the ordinance in April 23, 2013. Another provision prevents anyone from carrying a loaded firearm anywhere in the county.