A former wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks has been pronounced a hero after tackling a potential shooter at Parkrose High School on May 17.
Keanon Lowe, who works as a football and track coach as well as a security guard at the school, confronted and overcame a student who took a concealed rifle to class. Lowe tackled the student before he was able to point or fire the weapon.
“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,” Lowe tweeted on Saturday, as reported by The Washington Post.
“I didn’t see any other choice but to act,” Lowe said in a tweet. “I’ve spent the last 24 hours being more appreciative of my family and realizing we have a serious problem.”
“I’m blessed to be alive and extremely happy that the students are safe. I’m not sure what’s next, I haven’t had the time to really think about it,” Lowe said. “But I am sure I want to be a part of the solution to school gun violence.”
Parkrose students told school officials about the classmate who demonstrated troubling behavior in the days prior to the event. The student hinted that he wanted to hurt himself and obtain firearms, according to The Oregonian.
Lowe searched for the troubled student in his government class, but did not find him, according to other classmates. With ten minutes remaining in the class, police said 18-year-old Angel Granados Dias showed up in a long coat and revealed that he had a rifle. Students and teachers escaped the classroom through a back door.
“A Portland Police School Resource Officer and other officers arrived and immediately entered the school and found the staff member detaining the subject in the hallway,” police said in a statement.
Lowe thanked the Portland Police for their help.
Lowe is in his second year working at Parkrose High School. He formerly worked as an offensive analyst for the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. He also coached at Jesuit high in Portland, his alma mater.
Attending University of Oregon from 2010 to 2014, Lowe was a three-year starter at wide receiver. He caught 68 passes for 891 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Proclaimed the “team’s most inspirational player” as a redshirt senior, Lowe earned a reputation as a fan favorite. The fans admired him because of his unselfish blocking habits and triumphant celebrations of teammates’ accomplishments.
Parkrose football players said that Lowe had already made a big impact on the school despite his brief time there, according to The Oregonian.
After students were reunited with their parents, Lowe told police that he was tired and that he wanted to see his own loved ones. As reported by The Oregonian, two men stopped to shake Lowe’s hand while they were in the parking lot. One woman hugged him and said, “Thank you.”
“I’m just happy everyone was okay,” he told reporters. “I’m happy I was able to be there for the kids and for the community.”
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To read several Tweets directed to Lowe, click here.