An Oregon high school football coach named Keanon Lowe, who is a former University of Oregon football star, is being hailed as a hero after he risked his own life to disarm a 19-year-old student, Angel Granados-Diaz, who carried a shotgun into a classroom in a May 17 incident.
The 27-year-old Parkrose High School track coach then proceeded to hug the boy to keep the situation under control, while other students escaped to safety.
The whole ordeal was captured on video, and many parents have poured in with support for the coach and his actions in saving the lives of their children.
The video shows the coach walking out of the classroom while holding a shotgun in his hand and firmly grasping the student with his other.
Another teacher eventually joined in and helped remove the shotgun from the scene, after which the coach could be seen fully hugging the student, partly to comfort him, but somewhat to ensure that he did not try anything else.
The teenager did try to escape from the coach’s grasp but eventually relented. The two can be seen exchanging words, but it is not known what the coach said to the young man exactly.
Lowe stated: “I saw the look on his face, the look in his eyes, I looked at the gun, I realized it was a real gun, and then my instincts just took over.”
In a May interview with KATU, Lowe revealed this: “Then it was just that student and me. It was a real emotional time. It was emotional for him; it was emotional for me. At that 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.”
In early October, Granados-Diaz pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in a public building and one count of unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public. His defense team called the incident a “mental health crisis.”
However, many had condemned his actions and called for full justice. Granados-Diaz was sentenced to 3 years of probation while receiving mental health treatment.
The incident came at a sensitive time for the country, as there have been multiple school shooting incidents recently, and a lot of attention has been drawn to the situation from various sides.
Some parents have banded together in an attempt to look for a long-term resolution that can work for everyone.