The heroic efforts of a high school football and track coach were caught on video. Keanon Lowe, who also serves as a security guard for Parkrose High School in Portland, Ore., risked his life to save a student’s life, and possibly the lives of others, when he intercepted and disarmed Angel Granados-Díaz, then 18, on May 17.
According to the district attorney’s report, Granados-Díaz had made suicidal statements to an unidentified person before he arrived at the school with the weapon. That student warned school administrators about what Granados-Díaz reportedly said. Lowe was sent to find the teen and bring him to the office. He was unaware that the emotionally distraught student was in a nearby restroom with the gun.
The video, first obtained by KOIN 6 News and published Friday, shows the former wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks coming out of a classroom holding a shotgun while walking backward. Within seconds, another educator arrives on the scene and Lowe hands the weapon to him. In another video obtained by KOIN, students could be seen running for their lives after spotting Granados-Díaz with the weapon.
The dramatic moment between Lowe, 27, and the teen could have ended horribly. However, it was Lowe’s quick thinking that stopped this incident from becoming another tragedy.
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Lowe described the harrowing encounter to KOIN 6 News saying, “The door opens — I’m within arm’s length of the door, about 3 feet away from the door, and there’s a kid with a gun, a shotgun.”
“In a fraction of a second, I analyzed everything really fast,” he said. “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 took over.”
The coach said he lunged and grabbed the shotgun with both hands and confiscated it from Granados-Díaz without harming anyone. He then embraced and comforted the emotionally-troubled teen until police arrived.
The shotgun contained one round, according to law enforcement.
Granados-Díaz was subsequently arrested and indicted on four charges, two counts of possession of a firearm in a public building, reckless endangerment and possession of a loaded firearm in public, according to another report from KOIN 6 News. He pleaded guilty to two charges on Oct. 10.
According to the district attorney’s office, Granados-Díaz brought the gun to school during a “mental health crisis” and did not “intentionally point the firearm at anyone but himself.” The teen was sentenced to three years of probation under a pretrial agreement.
The Portland school district has criticized the release of the video, according to a report in The Guardian.
The district said it did not authorize the release of the video.
“It is important to know we denied permission for this video,” district superintendent Michael Lopes-Serrao said in an email to The Guardian. “First, we believe it’s a violation of FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) because this is part of a student’s educational record.”
The district attorney’s office authorized the release of the video when it was requested by KOIN in accordance with the public records request.
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.