By Shelby Sebens
PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - The brother of an Oregon teenager who killed a classmate and wounded a teacher last year wants back the rifle his sibling used in the shooting, and will have his first hearing on the matter next week.
Lucas Padgett, a U.S. Army Reservist, filed a motion last month requesting that his rifle, ammunition, vest and U.S. Army laundry bag be returned. A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge will hear the motion on Wednesday.
Jared Padgett, 15, was armed with his brother's military-style rifle and his father's semiautomatic pistol when he entered a locker room at Reynolds High School in a Portland suburb on June 10, 2014, killing a high school freshman and wounding a gym teacher before turning the gun on himself.
Lucas Padgett, 25, and his father told police the teenager stole the firearms and that they did not know he was a risk. The Multnomah County District Attorney declined in November to press charges against them.
"These items belong to me and I have never been charged with any offense," Lucas Padgett said in an affidavit. "I am entitled to their return and there is no legal impediment to my possession of said property."
The city of Troutdale, where the shooting occurred, and a Troutdale police officer have filed responses in opposition to his request.
"The fact remains that the materials sought by Padgett were seized at a horrific crime scene as part of a criminal investigation involving the shooting deaths of two persons and remain as evidence in that matter for which the statute of limitations have not yet expired," Troutdale City Attorney Edward Trompke said in court documents.
Padgett's attorney declined to comment on the request made by his client.
Troutdale Police Lieutenant Joel Wedland, who was one of the first officers on the scene of the shooting, also wrote that he was opposed to request.
"The investigation is not closed," Wedland said in the court documents.
Investigators determined that Jared Padgett used his brother's AR-15 rifle to kill Emilio Hoffman, injure the teacher and then take his own life.
The rifle had been stored in a "Pelican" brand hard gun case in a bedroom which the brothers shared, while the pistol was stored in a locked bedroom.
(Reporting by Shebly Sebens; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Mohammad Zargham)