Surveillance footage from a possible school shooting and suicide attempt in May has been released, showing how an Oregon high school coach helped avert a tragedy.
Keanon Lowe, a football and track coach who also served as a security guard at Portland’s Parkrose High School, managed to disarm a disturbed 18-year-old who’d come to school with a loaded shotgun, intent on ending his own life, according to KSAZ-TV.
And after the danger was clear, Lowe gave the young man a hug.
During the May 17 incident, the student, identified as Angel Granados-Diaz, was apparently distraught over the end of a romantic relationship, KSAZ-TV reported.
In the newly released video surveillance footage, Lowe, a former wide receiver for the University of Oregon Ducks, can be seen holding the shotgun he took away from Granados-Diaz in one hand.
Lowe’s other arm was firmly around the confused student’s shoulders as he moved the teen in close for a protective embrace.
Lowe passed the firearm off to a nearby staff member and turned his full attention to Granados-Diaz.
Despite the teen’s attempt to break free from the coach’s bear hug, Lowe clung on, holding the teen tightly and moving him down the hallway, far away from the classroom where Granados-Diaz had planned to end his life.
The shotgun had only one round in it, according to KATU.
Granados-Dias told authorities he wanted to kill himself, but didn’t want to do it at home where his mother would find the body, according to The Oregonian.
“I saw the look in his face, look in his eyes, looked at the gun, realized it was a real gun, and then my instincts just took over,” Lowe said at the time, according to KSAZ.
Lowe, who played with the Ducks until 2014, worked for a time as an analyst with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, according to Heavy.com. He joined the staff at Parkrose High in March 2018 to be a leader and mentor to young students much like himself.
He never dreamed how much he would have at stake — but times of crisis can bring out the hero inside.
“When I signed up to be a Security Guard, Football and Track & Field Coach for Parkrose High School, I did so to guide and coach young people whose shoes I had once been in,” Lowe wrote in a Twitter post the day after the incident.
“I had no idea, that I would one day have to put my life on the line like I did yesterday for my students.”
When I signed up to be a Security Guard, Football and Track & Field Coach for Parkrose High School, I did so to guide and coach young people whose shoes I had once been in. I had no idea, that I would one day have to put my life on the line like I did yesterday for my students.
— Keanon Lowe (@KeanonLowe) May 18, 2019
According to The Oregonian, Granados-Diaz, now 19, was sentenced on Oct. 10 to three years of probation and mental health treatment.
He has been in jail for the past five months and was expected to be released within days.
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