Accused Parkrose HS gunman pleads not guilty

Crime

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Parkrose High School student accused of bringing a loaded shotgun into school on Friday pleaded not guilty to felony charges. 

Angel Granados Diaz, who turned 19 the day he made his first court appearance, was charged with possessing a gun in a public building, attempting to discharge a firearm at a school, reckless endangerment and possession of a loaded firearm in a public place.

Court documents allege he tried to fire the gun inside the school. Students said they saw him appear with a shotgun inside their classroom but he was tackled by football coach Keanon Lowe.

Some of his family members were in court but declined to talk with the media. 

He’s been in jail since he was arrested Friday and is being held on $500,000 bail. He is expected back in court on May 29, 2019.

The coach

Keanon Lowe, who went to Jesuit High, played for the Oregon Ducks and coached in the NFL, has said he was put in the classroom for a reason. He was back at Parkrose High on Monday.

Jesuit High School counselor and football coach Ken Potter said he wasn’t surprised Lowe tackled the gunman “because he is such a selfless person that looks out for others. A leader among anybody, a phenomenal football coach, but more than that, he cares about people. And when I heard (about it) he’s the kind of person who would step up and do the right thing immediately.”

Heading back to school

After attending prom on Saturday, Parkrose students were back in school on Monday.

Counseling will be available throughout the week to help staff and students cope with Friday’s incident. There will also be enhanced security to make everyone feel safer.

How it unfolded

Around 11:48 a.m. Friday, multiple 911 calls were made about an armed gunman at the school. Nearly the entire PPB East Precinct responded to the school at 12003 NE Shaver Street.

Police said Diaz had a loaded shotgun when he walked into the building and into a classroom. Keanon Lowe, the head football coach, tackled him and prevented him from using the gun.

School resource officers also rushed to the hallway where Lowe detained the teen.

Investigators are still trying to determine if a shot was fired, however, no one was hurt.

Students told KOIN 6 News Diaz had been showing “concerning behavior” leading up to the incident. Two students reported it to school staff.

Student Diamond Morris told KOIN 6 News she talked to the suspect in gym class and he told her he had tried to commit suicide a few times and was drinking and smoking to stop his pain.

“….after he told me all that I was worried and when the bell rang I told the teacher,” Diamond said

Students had vivid memories of what happened in the time leading up to and during the incident.

“I’m just sitting in class. Our security guard comes in he was looking for the suspect,” said senior Alexa Pope. “[A] second person comes in with a trench coat and has a big gun in his hand.”

Pope said she could hardly believe it was a real gun but ran when her boyfriend told her to run.

“It was truly terrifying,” she said. “None of us knew if we were going to come out alive.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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