Video: Coach disarms, hugs Ore. high school student armed with shotgun

The video of Keanon Lowe hugging a student to both disarm him and deescalate the situation has gone viral

Theresa Brane
New York Daily News

PORTLAND, Ore. — First there was a tussle with a gun-toting teen. Then it segued into a heartfelt hug that lasted until police arrived.

Now video of the embrace between Parkrose High School, Oregon, security guard and coach Keanon Lowe, 27, and student Angel Granados-Diaz has emerged, and the compassion exhibited in it has driven it viral.

Lowe, a football star at the University of Oregon who went on to become an analyst for the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles before starting at Parkrose, was on hand when Angel entered a classroom with the gun.

Authorities, and Lowe, described last May how it all unfolded.

“My instincts just took over,” Lowe said at the time. He lunged for the gun as students scattered in panic, then the two were locked together as they made their way to the classroom door.

The security camera kicked in as they emerged from the classroom into the hallway.

The video shows the two of them backing out of the classroom. Lowe wrests the gun from Angel and hands it off to another teacher, holding onto the boy with his other arm all the while.

Then in a single motion, that arm goes around the 18-year-old (who turned 19 soon afterward) and locks him into a long hug that both immobilizes and commiserates with the pain he’s feeling.

“It was emotional for him, it was emotional for me,” Lowe said at the time, as he was hailed a hero. “In 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.”

The teen said later through his lawyer that he intended only to kill himself, not shoot up the school.

Angel was sentenced to three years’ probation and “any mental health treatment that he needs,” The Oregonian reported Oct. 10, after he pleaded guilty to felony possession of a firearm in a public building and misdemeanor possession of a loaded firearm in public. He’ll also do 64 hours of community service and cannot set foot on Parkrose High School grounds, or contact students who were in the classroom that day, without special permission from his probation officer.

After the video of the encounter was released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office to KOIN-TV and broadcast over numerous media outlets, Parkrose Superintendent of Schools Michael Lopes-Serrao said that doing so may have violated the student’s rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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