PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Parkrose High School coach Keanon Lowe said we all need to agree there is a problem with gun violence at schools before we can find a solution.
The coach and former Oregon Duck tackled an armed student at the high school on Friday before anyone could be hurt.
“In a fraction of a second, I analyzed everything really fast. I saw the look in his face, the look in his eyes,” he said.”My instincts just took over. I lunged for the gun.”
He said he grabbed the gun and as students went running, he made sure it wasn’t aimed at anyone.
“I think the universe works in amazing ways,” he said. “I think I’ve gone through stuff in my life that prepared me for that moment and I’m lucky and I’m happy that I was in that classroom for those kids and I was able to prevent that tragedy. 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.”
After disarming 19-year-old Angel Granados Diaz, Lowe said they had a conversation.
“I felt compassion for the kid, to be honest,” Lowe said. “I had a real-life conversation. Obviously, he broke down and I just wanted to let him know that I was there for him. I told him I was there to save him — I was there for a reason and that this is a life worth living.”
Lowe said the past few days have been tough but he has had an outpouring of support and all the nice words have helped him. He said his family and friends are also a great support system after Friday’s incident.
The 27-year-old was honored by the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center during Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors.
Thousands jumped to their feet to celebrate his bravery. Beyond the cheers and praise, Lowe is focused on his students and moving forward.
He said going forward he’s excited to be here for the kids and find other ways to help them.
“I’m just excited to be here for this community and to continue to help these kids,” he said. “It’s all about that next generation,” he said. “They are the future of our country.”