Portland Trail Blazers fans gave a standing ovation to high school coach and former University of Oregon football star Keanon Lowe on Monday night for his help in stopping a potential shooting at a local high school last week.
Lowe, a star wide receiver at Oregon from 2011 to 2014, tackled a student armed with a shotgun on Friday at Portland's Parkrose High School, where he works as the football and track coach as well as a security guard. Lowe said he had just entered a classroom when the student appeared in the doorway with a gun.
The former Ducks receiver said in an interview with "Good Morning America" that he lunged at the gunman and wrestled with him for the weapon as other students ran screaming out a back door. Lowe said he managed to get the gun away from the student and pass it to a teacher, while Lowe held down the student with his other hand. Lowe wrapped the student in a bear hug until police arrived, he said. No one was injured.
Police are still trying to determine if any shots were fired.
"I lunged for the gun and we both had the gun, we had four hands on the gun,'' Lowe recalled. "I'm just trying to make sure the end of the gun isn't pointing toward where the students are running.''
Lowe said it was the "longest fraction of a second of my life, but I kind of assessed that situation and my instincts kicked in.''
The suspect, 19-year-old Angel Granados-Diaz, pleaded not guilty on Monday during a brief court hearing to a felony count of possessing a weapon in a public building and three misdemeanors. His public defender, Grant Hartley, declined to comment.
Granados-Diaz turned 19 in jail on Monday, the same day students at Parkrose High returned to class after an emotional weekend that included their prom.
A police report said the incident was a "suicide attempt with a gun."
Granados-Diaz has declined an interview with authorities and has no prior convictions, according to court papers. He is being held on $500,000 bail and has another court appearance next week.
Lowe said he was called on a radio to go to a classroom in the fine arts building and get a student. When he got there, the substitute teacher told him the student wasn't in class. Lowe said he was about to leave when Diaz entered the room.
"I feel like I was put in that room for a reason,'' Lowe said. "He didn't know I was in that room when he opened the door, and I think there's things in my life that have happened that have prepared me for that very moment.''
Lowe was a star wide receiver at Oregon. He caught 10 touchdown passes and had nearly 900 receiving yards. After college, he worked as an offensive analyst for the San Francisco 49ers and as an analyst for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.