High school football coach Keanon Lowe has been selected as one of six individuals to receive the Citizen Honor Award by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
Coach Lowe, a former San Francisco 49ers offensive analyst, is set to receive the honor nearly a year after he stopped a student from shooting up his Oregon high school.
Surveillance footage from Parkrose High School caught the moment Lowe disarmed 18-year-old Angel Granados-Diaz, who appeared to be crying as the coach embraced him.
No one was hurt in the May 2019 incident, and school officials said Granados-Diaz only pointed the gun at himself, USA Today reported.
“The door opens — 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,” Lowe told KOIN 6 News at the time. “In a fraction of a second, I analyzed everything really fast. I saw the look in his face, look in 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. He had his two hands on the gun and obviously, the kids are running out of the classroom and screaming,” he continued. “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.”
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Granados-Diaz reportedly pleaded guilty to gun charges earlier in October, and was given a 36-month probation sentence.
“[Lowe was] selected for his courageous act when he disarmed a student with a loaded shotgun during an incident at Parkrose High School in Portland, Oregon,” the Congressional Medal of Honor Society said in a statement on March 25. “Mr. Lowe is attributed with saving the lives of the students and faculty of Parkrose High school.”
According to PEOPLE, Lowe will share the honor in the Single Act of Heroism category with Riley Howell, who died while shielding students from a gunman during an incident at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in April 2019.
Granados-Diaz planned to end his life before Lowe subdued him. He was later sentenced to mental health treatment and three years of probation, according to the Oregonian.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the ceremony for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society has been postponed indefinitely.
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