High school coach takes down armed suspect before any shots are fired
A University of Oregon high school football coach reportedly tackled an armed student yesterday, stopping them from firing any shots, CBS News has reported.
Keanon Lowe, a football and track coach and a security guard at Parkrose High School, has been credited with taking down a potential shooter who is believed to attend the institution.
No one was injured in the incident and the Portland police have not identified the suspect at this time, but have said that he is an adult. They added that there were no more suspects in the case.
Walking out of the school about four hours after the incident, Lowe told The Oregonian/OregonLive that he was glad no one was injured.
"I'm just happy everyone was OK," the former analyst for the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles reportedly said. "I'm happy I was able to be there for the kids and for the community."
The coach - who was a star wide receiver at the University of Oregon, playing from 2011 to 2014 - didn't reply to messages sent on Twitter or LinkedIn to comment further.
On Friday evening, Parkrose school district superintendent Michael Lopes Serrao wrote in a letter to families that before the incident, two students had informed a staff member of "concerning behavior" by the student in question.
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Security staff responded by locating the student and quickly disarming him. Lopes Serrao added: "Thanks to their heroic efforts all students and staff are safe."
Speaking about the incident, police spokesman Sgt. Brad Yakots claimed a firearm was recovered at the scene. The school was evacuated and a nearby middle school was on lockdown for several hours as the investigation continued.
The school was searched room by room and students were not allowed to have access to their personal items for a period of time, KOIN reports.
Yakots stated that the outcome was "the best case scenario, absolutely," adding: "The staff member did an excellent job by all accounts, (and) our officers arrived within minutes and went right in."
After the incident, students at Parkrose High School allegedly recounted how the situation unfolded, stating a man had come into their government class in the school's fine arts building - separate from the main building - just before noon on Friday.
Lowe had been in the classroom earlier looking for the man, whom other students identified as an 18-year-old senior.
About 10 minutes before the end of the class, the student appeared in the doorway in a black trench coat and pulled out a long gun from beneath his coat, senior Justyn Wilcox told The Oregonian/OregonLive.
The student didn't point the gun at anyone, Alexa Pope said.
Students fled out the back door and Pope described the moment, saying: "As I was running, I was just like, Lord don't let this be it."