This story could have very easily had a different ending.
Parkrose High School in Portland, Oregon, was thrown into a panic when 19-year-old Angel Granados-Diaz showed up with a shotgun containing a single round.
Whether Granados-Diaz planned to kill himself or had another target in mind is unclear.
Security guard and track-and-field coach Keanon Lowe saw Granados-Diaz bearing the gun and decided to take action.
“The look in his eyes,” Lowe said to NBC News.
“I looked at the gun and I realized it was a real gun and then my instincts just took over.”
But his instincts were not the ones you’d expect in America 2019. No, his instincts were compassionate, quick and effective.
He took the gun and quickly pulled Granados-Diaz into a hug.
Shoutout to Keaton Lowe https://t.co/lAhmHzRnBm— The Shooter 📸📸📸 (@JustDoTP) October 20, 2019
Kudos to Coach Keaton Lowe… a black man talking down a shooter, and he’s not even a trained officer.— 𝕏ℝ (@imNinjaXR) October 19, 2019
Just imagine how many #BlackLivesMatter would have been saved if actual police officers were a tad more compassionate and lot less trigger happy.
Keaton Lowe! A true hometown hero! https://t.co/4X79bCUAf8— Carolyn Erickson (@carolynscalise) October 20, 2019
“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.”
Thank you Keaton Lowe! 💜🙏💜 https://t.co/iZCcycONq1— Varya (@variak19) October 20, 2019
Former Oregon Duck Keaton Lowe?👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 https://t.co/zZ1g4Kd6Fi— Choco Taco🌮🍫 (@_TacoPete12) October 20, 2019
Well said and what Keaton Lowe did is absolutely unbelievable. Hats off to you young man. Thanks https://t.co/tSRGlYWBpf— Jeffery Rowland (@Jeffery_Rowland) October 19, 2019
An Oregon high school football coach was able to disarm a student with a shotgun preventing a possible massacre by talking him down and hugging him.— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) October 19, 2019
This is POWERFUL.
HE IS A HERO.
His name is Keanon Lowe. KNOW HIS NAME! pic.twitter.com/7RtnFyDbSs
“The universe works in amazing ways. I’m lucky and I’m happy that I was in that classroom for all those kids and I was able to prevent that tragedy.”
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.— Keanon Lowe (@KeanonLowe) May 18, 2019
When confronted with the test the universe presented me with, I didn't see any other choice but to act. Thank God, I passed. I've spent the last 24 hours being more appreciative of my family and realizing we have a serious problem.— Keanon Lowe (@KeanonLowe) May 18, 2019
I'm blessed to be alive and extremely happy that the students are safe. I'm not sure what's next, I haven't had the time to really think about it. But I am sure I want to be a part of the solution to school gun violence. Thank you @PortlandPolice for your help #ParkroseHighSchool— Keanon Lowe (@KeanonLowe) May 18, 2019
There's so many people out there hurting & all they want is to feel seen & heard. This is terrifying, heartwarming & inspiring. A reminder to be a little more kind.— Whitley (@ShamelessWhit) October 19, 2019
This made me tear up. So much hurt in that poor young man. What are we doing to our youth that leads them to this?! We must do better!— Karina Morales (@KarinaMorales11) October 19, 2019
While on probation, Granados-Diaz is prohibited from entering school grounds.
The incident has us all reflecting on what it takes to prevent these tragedies. As Lowe stated, he is very lucky.
Tragically, others who have tried to do the same were met by a more determined gunman. Keeping a gun from their hands seems to be the only safe solution.
Have you listened to the first season of George Takei’s podcast, ‘Oh Myyy Pod!‘?
In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
We’re hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don’t miss it when it goes live.
Here’s one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!