A high school football coach in Oregon wrestled a student to the ground Friday after he entered a classroom wearing a black trench coat and pulled out a shotgun, sending students scrambling for cover.
Portland police responded to a report of a man armed with a gun at Parkrose High School at 11:48 a.m. When officers arrived, the suspect, identified by police as a student at the school, was being detained in the hallway by a staff member.
No one was injured. Investigators were still trying to determine Friday evening whether any shots were fired, the police bureau said.
“Incidents such as the one that occurred today strikes the worst fear in the hearts of students and parents,” Portland police chief Danielle Outlaw said in a statement. “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.”
The staff member was identified by local outlets as football coach Keanon Lowe, a former wide receiver for the University of Oregon’s football team and analyst for the San Francisco 49ers.
He also works as a security guard at the school, the Oregonian reported.
“I’m just happy everyone was OK,” Lowe said as he left the school, according to the Oregonian. “I’m happy I was able to be there for the kids and for the community.”
Police said the suspect entered a classroom armed with a shotgun and at some point was confronted by the staff member.
On Saturday authorities identified the suspect arrested as Angel Granados Dias, 18.
They said he had been booked into Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of possessing a firearm in a public building, attempting to discharge a firearm at a school, reckless endangerment, and possession of a loaded firearm in a public place.
They also released a photo of the shotgun which was seized as evidence.
Portand Police Bureau
The incident came less than two weeks after a school shooting in Colorado left 1 student dead and 8 injured.
Senior Alexa Pope told the Oregonian she was in a classroom inside the school’s fine arts building when Lowe came in looking for a classmate of hers.
After Lowe left, the classmate appeared in the doorway in a black trench coat and pulled out a long gun, senior Justyn Wilcox, told the newspaper.
Pope said the suspect didn’t point the gun at anyone and that she and her classmates fled the classroom out the backdoor.
“My boyfriend gets up [and] screams, ‘Run,'” she said. “We all start running for the second door.”
She called Lowe a hero.
“If it weren’t for him I don’t know if we would be alive,” Pope said. “It was really intense.”
In a letter to families, Parkrose School District Superintendent Michael Lopes-Serrao said earlier in the day two students informed a staff member about “concerning behavior from one of their peers.”
“Our security staff responded and found the student with a gun and quickly disarmed the student,” Lopes-Serrao wrote. “Thank you to the brave students who expressed their concern for their peer and to our staff who quickly responded to protect our students.”
Olivia Katbi Smith, who said she coaches track with Lowe, said she wasn’t surprised by her friend’s bravery.
“As soon as I heard what happened I knew it was him because he would do anything for these kids,” Smith tweeted. “He IS a hero.”
Olivia Katbi Smithأوليفيا كاتبي@livkittykat
I coach track at Parkrose with Keanon. As soon as I heard what happened I knew it was him because he would do anything for these kids. It was surreal to be waiting for my athletes behind caution tape today, but might have been much worse if not for Keanon. He IS a hero.
The Oregonian ✔@Oregonian
Former Oregon Duck football star Keanon Lowe hailed as hero on Twitter after tackling gunman at Portland high school http://bit.ly/2VI5LIq
The FBI is assisting Portland police in its investigation.
The incident left the high school on lockdown and put the nearby Parkrose Middle School on lockout, according to the the school district. Students at the high school were later bussed to reunite with their parents at a local K-Mart.
Lopes-Serrao said school would resume as usual on Monday and that counseling support would be available to students and staff throughout the week.