VIDEO: High School Coach Embraces Student After Taking Away His Shotgun
Portland, OR – School security footage captured the moment that a high school football coach disarmed a student who was carrying a loaded shotgun, then wrapped the teen in a bear-hug in the minutes that followed (video below).
The incident occurred at Parkrose High School on May 17, USA Today reported.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office released the footage on Friday after the criminal case against the teen was adjudicated.
Keanon Lowe, who works as a football and track coach as well as a school security guard, said he was inside one of the Parkrose classrooms when student Angel Granados-Diaz walked in with the loaded shotgun, ABC News reported.
“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 later told USA Today.
“I lunged for the gun and we both had the gun,” he explained to ABC News. “Students are running out of the back of the classroom."
Lowe, a former Oregon Ducks football player, said that his main concern throughout the encounter was keeping the students safe.
"I'm just trying to make sure that the end of the gun isn't pointing towards where the students are running and also not pointed at myself," he said. "I ended up getting the gun from him, with my right hand, and holding him off with my left hand and calling for a teacher to grab the gun from me."
Security footage showed the coach as he emerged from a classroom with the gun in one hand and Granados-Diaz in the other.
Lowe handed the weapon off to another school employee, then quickly embraced the teen several times in the minutes that followed.
“It was just me and that student,” Lowe later told USA Today. “It was a real emotional time. I felt compassion for him. A lot of times, especially when you’re young, you don’t realize what you’re doing until it’s over."
According to prosecutors, Granados-Diaz was in the midst of a mental health crisis, and brought the loaded weapon to school with the intent of killing himself.
The high school senior’s attorney said that he had broken up with his girlfriend, and that he wanted to commit suicide at school to spare his mother from being the one to discover his body, according to The Washington Post.
“Fate had something else in store for him,” the attorney told the court.
On Oct. 10, the 19-year-old pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public and unlawful possession of a firearm in a public building, USA Today reported.
He was sentenced to three years of probation, and was ordered to participate in abuse and mental health treatment.
“He is deeply remorseful for the pain that he has caused his family, his friends and the community,” Granados-Diaz’s attorney told the court, according to The Washington Post. “[He] has a lot of people who care about him, despite what he thought back in May."
Lowe said he believes he was “put in that room for a reason,” ABC News reported.
“I think there are things in my life that have prepared me for that very moment,” he continued. “I thank God that no one got hurt and I thank God I was in that room.”
"This is a story that usually ends in tragedy," Lowe told USA Today. "From God's will, this ended up well. We were in the headlines, but it wasn't a tragedy. I am thankful for that."
You can watch security footage of Lowe’s encounter with Granados-Diaz in the video below: