Former Oregon Ducks wide receiver Keanon Lowe was heralded as a hero back in May when it was reported that he brought down a would-be school shooter before anyone at a Portland high school could get hurt. Video of the incident has since been released because of a public records request from KOIN 6 in Portland. While the footage does not show Lowe tackling the student, as was reported at the time, it does show the former player snatching the shotgun away from the kid and embracing him while trying to calm him down.
The footage also corroborates the story that Lowe—a football coach for Parkrose High School, where this all took place—told reporters in a press conference shortly after his heroics took place. His story fills in the blanks as to what happened in the classroom and behind the walls that the clip did not capture.
After I’m in the classroom for 20 seconds, the door opens and I’m within arm’s length of the door, about three feet away from the door, and there’s a kid with a gun, a shotgun, as soon as that door opens. Pretty crazy situation, you know. In a fraction of a second, I analyzed everything really fast. I saw the look in his face, looked at his eyes, looked at the gun, realized it was a real gun and then my instincts just took over. I lunged for the gun, put two hands on the gun, and he had his two hands on the gun, and the students are running out of the classroom and screaming. I’m just making sure the barrel of the gun [wasn’t aimed at anyone].
KOIN 6 had the rest of his remarks:
“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.”
According to a report from the shotgun-wielding student’s trial, the teenager did not intend on shooting anybody but himself on that day in May. In the end, no shots were fired because of Lowe’s actions. The student, meanwhile, was sentenced on Thursday to three years of probation and mental health treatment after pleading guilty to felony possession of a firearm in a public building and misdemeanor possession of a loaded firearm in public.