PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s one of those videos that take your breath away. A former Philadelphia Eagles assistant coach disarmed a student who brought a shotgun to school in May and then hugged him. Now the coach is describing what was running through his mind.
“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, I realized it was a real gun and then my instincts just took over,” Keanon Lowe said.
A gun-grab ending in an emotional embrace, Lowe — who worked for the Eagles under Chip Kelly — confronted a student at a Portland high school, armed and in crisis.
“I can see him coming into the room with just a gun in his hand,” Parkrose High School senior Alexa Pope said. “It was terrifying. It was truly terrifying.”
“We all hid, we hid under clothes and stuff to just in case anything would happen,” another student said.
Students that day were scared and parents realized their worst fears as the school went into lockdown.
“None of us knew if we were going to come out alive,” Pope said.
But everyone made it out safely and now we’re seeing just how incredibly timed it all was.
Lowe, a security guard at the school, had been called to the Fine Arts building to get a student. What he didn’t know was that just moments before, that student — Angel Granados Dias — snuck a shotgun inside with the two almost meeting in the hallway.
“I walk in there, I get to the classroom, I asked the teacher, ‘is the student here?'” Lowe said.
He was just steps behind, a shotgun now tucked under his coat.
“The door opens and 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 said. “I lunged for the gun, put two hands on the gun. He had his hands on the gun and obviously, the students are running out of the classroom and screaming.”
Lowe says running never crossed his mind. He handed the gun off to another teacher, then did something unexpected.
He wrapped up Granados Diaz up in a hug.
As students ran to safety and police rushed to the scene, Lowe remained focused on the teen in front of him.
“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,” Lowe said.
Last week, in a deal avoiding jail time, the teen pleaded guilty to gun charges.
Investigators say he made suicidal statements and was struggling with mental health issues.
The gun was loaded with just one round.
Lowe says love is what brought him to coach and work at Parkrose High School.
Love for his students, his kids.
“He broke down and I just wanted to let him know that I was there for him,” Lowe said. “I told him I was there to save him. I was there for a reason and that this is a life worth living.”
The student was sentenced to three years of probation.