LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Todd and Carrie Woodruff were woken up early Monday morning to the sound of knocking on their front door. They didn’t know there had been a shooting in Nevada the day before, where a married couple killed two Las Vegas police officers and another person before shooting themselves. Even more difficult to swallow was the news their beloved daughter was one of the shooters.
WLFI spoke on camera exclusively with Amanda’s parents, Carrie and Todd Woodruff, Tuesday. As previously reported, Amanda and her husband Jerad killed three people Sunday including two Las Vegas police officers.
“It’s not something you would ever expect especially out of someone like her,” said Carrie.
The Woodruffs don’t know how their Amanda went from peaceful and polite to a killer.
“She just loved life, she always was happy,” said Carrie. “That’s why yesterday, we don’t understand,” added Todd.
Amanda got a job at Hobby Lobby right after her 16th birthday, the only place she ever collected a paycheck. She even transferred to one in Nevada when she moved earlier this year.
As a teen, her parents say Amanda loved music, playing violin in the high school orchestra as well as learning the mandolin and several types of guitars. She also was passionate about animals, volunteering at a Lafayette-area rescue center. She also enjoyed crafting projects with her mom and riding roller coasters with her dad.
She met Jerad Miller after she graduated from Jeff High School in 2010 when she was Christmas shopping with her mom at an indoor flea market where he was working. Her mom had already gone out to the car while Amanda paid when Jerad asked for her number.
Less than a year later.. they were married.
“I was dead set against it. But at the same time, it’s what she wanted. It’s what was making her happy. That’s all you want to do is make your girl happy. I wasn’t going to miss the chance to walk her down the aisle,” said Todd and Carrie.
The Woodruffs say the girl Amanda wanted to be her maid of honor said no because she didn’t like Jerad. A number of Amanda’s extended family also didn’t attend because they didn’t approve of him.
Even then, Jerad was anti-government. Amanda’s job at the Hobby Lobby paid all the bills because Jerad refused to get a job which would pay taxes, though Carrie said he didn’t mind her having a job which paid taxes.
But after the wedding, he became even more difficult to talk to and more argumentative about his views.
About five months ago, on News Year’s Day, the couple left Lafayette for Nevada, leaving behind all of Amanda’s family.
“She was just like, ‘I need to live my own life mom. Let me make my own choices,’” said Carrie.
After the move, it only got worse.
Carrie, who calls Amanda her best friend, joined Facebook because that was about the only way she could communicate. Even then, they could only take for a few minutes at a time.
“She would laugh and joke. But when (Jerad) was around she was real subdued, monotone, matter of fact, just a whole different person,” said Carrie.
Friday, just two days before the shooting, Todd got a rare phone conversation.
“He was just so excited,” said Carrie.
“It was the best 30 minutes I’ve had in a long time. Nothing was wrong,” added Todd. “We laughed, we joked. We were both in tears laughing so hard.”
Everything may have seemed normal, but less than three days later, the knock on the door would come.
“Our thoughts and prayers really go out to the families out in Las Vegas. I really feel for them too. I’m at a loss for words for them,” said Todd and Carrie.
The Woodruffs said Amanda was only officially identified by the Nevada coroner Tuesday afternoon because she had no criminal record, not even a speeding ticket.
Amanda was a middle child, with both an older and younger brother. Todd and Carrie say both are torn up about what happened.
Despite Amanda’s recorded issues with law enforcement, they also say that Amanda had several members in her large extended family who are military veterans and she had great respect for them, even helping some needy veterans who were strangers.