High school football coach Keanon Lowe is being hailed as a hero after footage of the coach disarming a high school student before embracing him in an emotional bear hug was released to the public. The incident happened at Portland, Oregon’s Parkrose High School in back in May and is now making headlines after a dramatic video of the incident was released to the public.
Lowe, who was also employed at the school as a security guard, was called to the fine arts building on campus after reports to retrieve a student, news station KOIN 6 reports. Lowe came upon now 19-year-old Angel Granados-Diaz who had brought a shotgun to school with him.
Surveillance video obtained exclusively by KOIN 6 News shows the dramatic moment when Parkrose High School football coach Keanon Lowe disarmed a student carrying a loaded shotgun on campus.https://t.co/W6VDKJrrhr— KOIN News (@KOINNews) October 19, 2019
Thanks to his quick thinking, Lowe was able to approach Granados-Diaz and take the gun from him, but what he did next is what has people truly calling him a hero. "I think the universe works in amazing ways,” Lowe told the news station. “I think I’ve gone through stuff in my life that prepared me for that moment and I’m lucky and I’m happy that I was in that classroom for those kids and I was able to prevent that tragedy. I don’t know if ‘hero’ is the right word but the universe works in mysterious ways and I was meant to be in that classroom and I was meant to stop a tragedy.”
Lowe initially struggled with the teenager for control of the gun as fellow classmates ran for cover, and once he was able to gain control of the gun he was able to hand the firearm off to another school employee. Lowe explained to Sports Illustrated that during their struggle Granados-Diaz, whose lawyers would explain suffered from depression, continued to state that he didn't want to hurt anyone else, just himself.
“Nobody cares about me!” Lowe recalled him screaming. Lowe responded by looking in his eyes and telling him, “I care about you,” causing the teen to respond “You do?” Lowe said the teen's response broke his heart and he responded by saying “I do, bro! That's why I’m here. I got you, buddy.”
Video of Lowe embracing Granados-Diaz has since gone viral, with many praising the coach for showing compassion in a situation where others wouldn't.
Breaking News: video of Coach Keanon Lowe disarming Parkrose High School gunman Angel Granados-Diaz. More to come. pic.twitter.com/d7wK9ES6zi— Dan Tilkin (@DanTilkinKOIN6) October 19, 2019
Lowe told KION that he was just happy he was there to help prevent what could have been a tragedy. “I felt compassion for the kid, to be honest,” Lowe said. “I had a real-life conversation. Obviously, he broke down and I just wanted to let him know that I was there for him. I told him I was there to save him — I was there for a reason and that this is a life worth living.”
The gun that Granados-Diaz brought to school contained only one round, which investigators said he planned to use on himself. The teen pleaded guilty to gun possession charges and was ordered to undergo mental health treatment as well as probation for 36 months.