PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Friends and family say the 14-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a classmate at an Oregon high school earlier this month loved soccer, selfies and making people laugh.
They said Sunday at a memorial service that Emilio Hoffman was prone to pranks and the kind of mischief that drove teachers crazy. He often woke his foster brother up in the middle of the night just to share a bowl of cereal. The Troutdale teen scrunched his face up in self-portraits.
“He was actually a pest,” said his father, Abraham Gallardo.
And they adored him, the Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/1iyg6xc ).
Teachers and classmates spoke about the spunky boy who cracked jokes on the soccer field, took silly selfies and carried out pranks.
Emilio was killed in the boy’s locker room by a fellow freshman, 15-year-old Jared Padgett, who later killed himself. Padgett’s public funeral was held last week.
The 15-year-old freshman had brought two guns, nine ammunition magazines and a large knife to the school, apparently prepared to shoot many more.
A bullet also grazed a teacher. Authorities have yet to reveal a motive for the shooting.
“The questions play over and over in my head: Why?” said his mother, Jennifer Hoffman. “I would give anything to know the answer.”
Mourners said he hated to see people sad.
“You couldn’t help but smile when he smiled,” said Jesse Slick, Emilio’s sixth-grade teacher at Reynolds Arthur Academy. “If you were down in the dumps, he lifted you up.”
Jennifer Hoffman said that she knows how many of his friends, teammates and teachers are hurting.
“I promise to hug them tight and check on them often,” she told the gathering through tears. “Through them, I will feel you. I will feel my son.”
Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com
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