Italy High School

Man Who Shot Classmate Six Times in Italy High School Cafeteria Dies in Prison

Inmate's death being investigated as a suicide, prison officials say

NBC 5 News

A Texas man serving a 40-year sentence for shooting a classmate multiple times in a high school cafeteria in 2018 died in prison Monday.

Chad Padilla, 20, died March 21 at the Telford Unit in New Boston. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, jail staff found Padilla unresponsive at about 1:50 a.m. and began CPR. He was taken to the medical facility where EMS and paramedics pronounced him deceased at about 2:25 a.m.

Prison officials said Padilla's cause of death has not yet been confirmed and that his death is being investigated as a suicide.

mahkayla jones and chad padilla
NBC 5 News
Mahkayla Jones, left, and Chad Padilla, inset right.

Padilla, who was serving a 40-year sentence for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted capital murder, pleaded guilty in June 2019 to shooting Mahkayla Jones six times in the Italy High School cafeteria in January 2018.

Jones, who survived the shooting, testified she hugged Padilla in the cafeteria, asked him to sit, and told him he appeared angry. She said that's when he drew back and told her, "Sorry it had to end this way," and shot her six times.

In a 2019 interview with NBC 5, Jones forgave Padilla for the shooting and said that it was time to move forward in her life.

"I want to go places and I want to be somebody who makes a difference," Jones said.

The Office of the Inspector General is investigating Padilla's death.

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