On Friday, May 17, Parkrose High School football and track coach Keanon Lowe stopped a student who entered a classroom with a gun by wrestling him to the ground and disarming him while students fled.
Portland police apprehended the gunman soon after, and thanks to Lowe's actions, nobody was injured.
Lowe, a former Oregon Ducks football star who now coaches at Parkrose and works as a security guard, has garnered national adulation for his actions.
Last night, Lowe attended Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals at the Moda Center. The Athletic reports that's because Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard got Lowe a ticket to the game. (The Golden State Warriors beat the Blazers 110-99, but that's not really the point.)
Parkrose is one of three local schools that Lillard supports via his SUPPORT program, and he praised Lowe: "That's a hero move."
"So many lives on the line including his," Lillard told The Athletic. "Sometimes you get in those moments and people freeze. He was on the spot. So I just wanted to welcome him, get him tickets to the game and recognize that kind of act."
(Lillard wasn't the only NBA figure who was in awe. Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, told reporters Saturday that he thanked Lowe for his "remarkable act of courage.")
From Section 114 before the game, Lowe told The Athletic reporter Jason Quick that he had yet to process what happened.
"I stopped a full-on school shooting," Lowe told Quick. "And when I say that, it's unbelievable. Unbelievable."
Lowe told Quick that he and the gunman had a wrestling match, "for I don't know how long," and that he eventually retrieved the gun, holding it in one hand and restraining the student in the other. "We had a wrestling match, with four hands on a gun in a classroom," he says.
Lowe says students were screaming and when another teacher entered the room, he instructed him to take the gun while he continued to hold down the student.
"At that point, I'm trying to care for him, because I know what happens next for him," Lowe said. "So I'm talking him down, essentially. Telling him, 'It's going to be OK. I've got you. I'm here. We are OK.'"
Read Quick's full account of Lowe's story and Lillard's reaction here.
Lowe also released a statement on Twitter yesterday afternoon, where he pledged to help "be a part of the solution to school gun violence."