TROUTDALE, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The Reynolds High School resource officers who exchanged gunfire with freshman Jared Padgett after he opened fire inside the school are being credited with stopping what could have been a carnage.
Padgett, 15, was identified in a late morning news conference by Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson.
Anderson said Padgett was found carrying an AR-15 assault rifle used in the shooting, along with nine magazines of ammunition, capable of firing several hundred rounds.
The chief said resource officers Nick Thompson and Kyle Harris saved many lives.
The freshman killed himself inside a school bathroom, officials said.
Reynolds High School has two full-time officers on campus every day — something no other school in this area has.
Most other school districts have one full-time officer at every high school.
- In the Gresham-Barlow school district, there are two full time SROs, one for each high school.
- Salem-Keizer has 13 officers, one at each of their six high schools, and seven rovers staffed by the police departments.
- In Washington County, there is one for each high school, and each roves around to other schools. It’s staffed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Beaverton PD.
Portland Public Schools, with approximately 50,000 students in the district, has 12 resource officers that rotate to the different schools in the district.
“We feel like our school resource officers really protect us,” said PPS spokesperson Christine Miles, though she admitted “we would love to have more.”
One of those Portland school resource officers is John Romero, who exchanged gunfire and killed Kelly Swoboda at Wilson High School in March.
At that time, Romero told KOIN 6 News, “I don’t consider myself a hero. I am a police officer that did his job.”