Intense footage showing a brave sports coach disarming and then hugging a boy after he entered his high school with a shotgun has gone viral over the last week.
Angel Granados-Diaz concealed a loaded shotgun in a garment bag he brought to Parkrose High School last May, according to a Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office press release from earlier this month. He entered the Portland, Oregon school a little before noon.
As Granados-Diaz made his way toward a classroom, sports coach Keanon Lowe was already on his way there to try to find him. Unaware of the gun at this point, a student had reported that Granados-Diaz had made suicidal statements and the administration had sent Lowe to retrieve him and bring him to the office. In addition to coaching football and track and field, Lowe doubles as a school security guard.
Lowe entered the classroom and almost immediately after, the armed teen followed with the shotgun out, which had only one round in it. The teen “was visibly upset,” according to the attorney's office.
“The student comes in with a shotgun or rifle -- doesn’t even hide it. Just has it out,” an unidentified student told KATU at the time.
Granados-Diaz tried unsuccessfully to shoot himself in the classroom and “when the firearm failed to discharge, Mr. Lowe was able to separate it from Mr. Granados-Diaz as students fled the classroom,” according to the press release.
Footage shows Lowe backing out of the classroom, holding the shotgun with one hand. His other hand is on the teen as he attempts to calm him. Another school staff member was able to grab the gun from Lowe’s hand and run out of the hallway with it. Then, Lowe bearhugged Granados-Diaz.
“I 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 this is a life worth living,” Lowe told KATU in May.
The teen can be seen in the clip trying to fight the affection, but Lowe keeps holding him. They embrace for about a minute.
Granados-Diaz, now 19, pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in a public building and one count of unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public for the incident, which the district attorney’s office is calling a “mental health crisis.”
“Mr. Granados-Diaz never fired the gun while on campus nor did he ever intentionally point the firearm at anyone but himself,” they noted.
He will be on probation for 36 months and will be receiving mental health and substance use treatment.
Footage of the incident went viral last week, leading to the coach being praised as a hero. Parkrose High School said in a tweet that they were were disappointed that the footage was released.
"This was a traumatic event for our students, staff and community,” they noted.
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