PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The city of Troutdale, Oregon, has paid nearly $4,000 for the rifle used in last year's deadly school shooting, rather than return the weapon to the shooter's brother.
Freshman Jared Padgett killed Reynolds High classmate Emilio Hoffman, then himself, with an AR-15 rifle he stole from his older brother.
The brother, Lucas Padgett, went to court this summer, asking a judge to order the city to return his property. The city argued that the weapon and other items must be held as evidence in case a charge is ever filed.
However, the district attorney's office said almost a year ago that Lucas Padgett couldn't be prosecuted for allowing his brother to access the rifle, because he kept it in a locked container.
The judge ruled that city police must return the gun unless it could prove within 45 days that it was still being held as evidence.
The City Council, on Oct. 13, agreed to pay the brother $3,950 for the rifle, ammunition and other items recovered at the scene.
"Understanding the emotional trauma that both the Hoffman and Padgett families have been through, the city of Troutdale reached out to Lucas Padgett to seek a compromise that would be acceptable to all involved and help continue the healing process of this terrible tragedy," Mayor Doug Daoust said in a statement Tuesday.
The release said the city, at the appropriate time, will request an order for "final disposition of the property."
Padgett's attorney, Shawn Kollie, told The Oregonian that the city contacted him shortly after the judge ruled last month.
"People have wildly varying opinions on guns," Kollie said. "The thing that made the difference in this case is that it was undisputed that items were stolen. If you steal my car and get a DUII, (the police) don't get to keep my car."