Sometimes being a football coach means more than just helping students on the field. In the case of Parkrose High School’s Keanon Lowe, it meant potentially saving lives.
Recently released surveillance footage from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office depicts Lowe disarming a student carrying a loaded shotgun. And in a true act of compassion, the heroic coach then embraced and held on to 18-year-old Angel Granados-Diaz. This act diffused a potentially violent situation that could have ended with yet another school shooting on American soil.
In addition to his coaching duties, Lowe serves as a security guard at the Oregon high school. He encountered Granados-Diaz while he was on his way to a classroom to get another student.
Instincts took over for the heroic Parkrose coach, who certainly had no expectation of encountering an armed student when he signed up for the job.
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
Looking closely at the video footage, Lowe can be seen talking to Granados-Diaz while holding on to him with one hand. Another teacher swiftly took the shotgun and moved to the other end of the hallway as Lowe embraced the tearful student.
“I felt compassion for the kid, to be honest,” Lowe said. “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.”
Lowe’s leadership and decisive action should come as no surprise. He was a former team captain and wide receiver at the University of Oregon, one of the top football programs in the nation.
His bravery rightfully garnered plenty of attention on social media.
Such a heroic man! @KeanonLowe, let's flood him with love! https://t.co/nAtffYTupi
— Elaine Ferry (@arcadiaherb) October 19, 2019
Coach Keanon Lowe, disarming ParkroseHigh School gunman, obviously knowing there was so much more leading up to this moment for this young man. Humanity- it saves lives. Bravo. #BreakingNews https://t.co/qSKjunPKN5 RT @DrRobyn
— Systemic Sarcasm (@SystemicSarcasm) October 19, 2019
Granados-Diaz plead guilty on October 10 on multiple charges, including possession of a firearm in a public building, attempting to discharge a firearm at school and reckless endangerment. The gun contained one loaded round.
He received a 36-month probation sentence and will receive mental health and substance abuse treatment as part of his plea agreement. While on probation, he is forbidden from entering school grounds.
Well done Coach!