May 19 (UPI) — A former college football star saved students in Oregon from a potential school shooting tragedy.
Keanon Lowe, a former wide receiver at the University of Oregon, tackled a student carrying a shotgun Friday through the hallway at Parkrose High School in Portland.
A little before noon, Granados Dias, 18, walked into a classroom at the school wearing a black trench coat and holding a loaded shotgun, witnesses said. That’s when Lowe, a school security guard at Parkrose, wrestled Dias to the ground.
During the incident, students sat in dark, locked classrooms as police searched for possible accomplices.
Dias, a student at Parkrose, was charged with possession of a loaded firearm in a public place, attempting to discharge a firearm in a school, reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm in a public building.
“Incidents such as the one that occurred today strike the worst fear in the hearts of student and parent,” said Danielle Outlaw, Portland police chief, in a police report. “The officers and school staff worked together to respond quickly and ensure the safety of all involved. I commend the school staff member who displayed quick actions and bravery when he confronted the subject.”
Lowe, who also works as a track and football coach at Parkrose, tweeted out his appreciation after the incident:
When I signed up to be a Security Guard, Football and Track & Field Coach for Parkrose High School, I did so to guide and coach young people whose shoes I had once been in. I had no idea, that I would one day have to put my life on the line like I did yesterday for my students.
Dias is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court Monday.
“Thank you to the brave students who expressed their concern for their peer and to our staff who quickly responded to protect our students,” Parkrose School District Superintendent Michael Lopes Serrao said in a statement.