Video shows OR coach disarming student then embracing him before police arrive

Cheryl Sanders
October 20, 2019

Keanon Lowe, a former University of OR football star who works as a football and track coach at Parkrose High School, was hailed as a hero when he disarmed Angel Granados-Diaz in a classroom on May 17.

Lowe, who played as a wide receiver at OR, said he had just entered a classroom at the Portland high school where he works as a coach and security guard when an armed student appeared in the doorway back in May. Then video shows the moment football coach Keanon Lowe, who also works as a security guard at the school, confronted the student.

The video - obtained Friday by CBS Portland affiliate KOIN - shows Lowe grab the gun from Granados-Diaz and hand it to another teacher.

"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 recalled. Granados-Diaz attempts to break from his embrace at one point before Lowe pulls him back in and continues to hold him tight.

Keanon Lowe, who tackled a gunman at an OR high school in May 2019, poses with the Portland Trail Blazers mascot.

Lowe had been in the classroom earlier looking for the student, as other students identified him to a staff member because of "concerning behavior" by the armed student.

"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", Lowe said. "Everything happened so fast and it was the longest fraction of a second in my life".

A Parkrose High School student later told television station KATU that Lowe "put his life (in) danger for us".

When he next emerges, he is holding a shotgun and backing away from student Angel Granados-Diaz before another teacher comes up and takes the weapon away. "He had his two hands on the gun and obviously the kids are running out of the classroom and screaming".

"I felt compassion for him".

Prosecutors and Granados-Diaz's lawyer insisted the incident was not a potential school shooting.

Following the ordeal, the now 19-year-old pleaded guilty to gun charges on October 10.

Prosecutors said the teen never pointed the shotgun at anyone but himself and that he made suicidal statements.

"Through the course of the investigation it became clear to law enforcement and our office that Mr. Granados-Diaz did not have the intent to hurt anyone other than himself while at Parkrose High School", Deputy District Attorney Parakram Singh said.

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