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Newly released security camera footage shows an Oregon high school football coach disarming a student and then embracing him afterward.
Angel Granados-Diaz, 18, arrived at Parkrose High School with a shotgun with one round in it on May 17. Granados-Diaz was suffering from a mental health crisis at the time.
“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, per KATU.
In the video, Keanon Lowe, who is also a security guard at the high school, can be seen backing out of a room with the gun in his hand. He is moving away from Granados-Diaz and then hands the gun off to another faculty member.
Lowe then embraces Granados-Diaz in a prolonged hug.
In the lead up to what was shown in the video, Granados-Diaz expressed suicidal feelings to a classmate, and in turn, the classmate reported to faculty.
When Lowe was searching for Granados-Diaz to bring him into the office, Lowe found Granados-Diaz with the gun. Granados-Diaz tried to fire the gun at himself, but it didn’t go off. And that’s when Lowe successfully disarmed Granados-Diaz, according to KATU.
“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 in May.
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
In May, Lowe was hailed a hero among those familiar with what transpired. Following the release of the now-viral footage, many outsiders are expressing similar sentiments.
“Stunning surveillance footage captured the moment an unarmed black high school coach in Oregon, disarmed a student with a shotgun and then embraced him,” Twitter user @escapedmatrix wrote. “He saved lives, and showed the mentally ill kid compassion. Keanon Lowe is his name. #BigBossHeroes.”
In exclusive surveillance video obtained by @DanTilkinKOIN6, you can see a gunman at Parkrose High School walking in the hallway, immediately students begin to flee.— Travis Akers (@travisakers) October 19, 2019
Moments later, the gunman would be disarmed.
Coach @KeanonLowe is a hero.pic.twitter.com/2Y5W2dsnM1
I have not been this moved in a very long time. Impossible to not get emotional watching this. We called him a hero then, but after seeing this I’m not sure there is even a word worthy of him. Thank you, @KeanonLowe. 🙏 https://t.co/HtVNiq7tjf— Brooke Olzendam (@brookeolzendam) October 19, 2019
The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a hug.— YS (@NYinLA2121) October 19, 2019
Fuck off NRA.
His name is Keanon Lowe
Stunning surveillance footage captured the moment an unarmed black high school coach in Oregon, disarmed a student with a shotgun and then embraced him.— Big Boss (@escapedmatrix) October 20, 2019
He saved lives, and showed the mentally ill kid compassion. Keanon Lowe is his name. #BigBossHeroes
As if disarming a possible active shooter in your high school wasn’t enough, the manner in which ex-Oregon wide receiver Keanon Lowe did back on May is truly astonishing. Heroic.— ~Marietta (@MariettaDaviz) October 19, 2019
A cry for help that was answered, the gunman is getting help.#mentalhealthpic.twitter.com/j3R0P8jBIX
Some thought Lowe’s actions contradict the National Rifles Association’s (NRA) favorite defense of gun violence needing to be combatted with a “good guy with a gun.”
“It wasn’t a ‘good guy with a gun’ that stopped this massacre, it was a ‘good guy with a hug.’ His name is Coach Keanon Lowe,” Twitter user @King_Of_Shade wrote.
He put a lot of faith in the kid. He could've had another weapon.— Ryan Sotelo (@RyBond007) October 19, 2019
Would that work in every situation? No, but it was the right move for this one. Awesome work.
If only @senatemajldr and @realDonaldTrump had a fraction of the courage exhibited by Keanon Lowe. Kids and teachers stand up to gunmen, but Trump and McConnell won’t stand up to the @NRA. https://t.co/anE4z3I1eE— Peter Ambler (@PeterMAmbler) October 20, 2019
Whether or not Keanon Lowe, the football coach, owns a gun, he was unarmed when he tackled that kid.— Gun Reg Cool (@GunRegCool) May 22, 2019
Lowe told Oregon Live that Granados-Diaz “didn’t really say anything … I just held him and told him that I was there to save him.”
Granados-Diaz reportedly legally purchased the gun and had been suicidal for several months in the lead up to the incident.
Granados-Diaz has since pleaded guilty to two charges–one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in a public building and one count of unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public–and was sentenced to three years of probation.
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H/T ABC News
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque