Sometimes all you need is a little compassion. High school students go through a lot in their personal lives and sometimes all it takes is a little compassion from the right person to pull them out of whatever may be bringing them down. That exactly what this coach did when spotted an 18-year old holding a shotgun, and expressing thoughts of suicide, he got involved, not with aggression or fear- but with kindness.
18-year old Angel Grandos-Diaz had recently gone through a breakup and was deep in feeling the effects of his heartbreak. He had spoken to another student about taking his own life, and had brought a concealed weapon to school with a single bullet in the chamber. Angel had gotten as far as pulling out the gun in a classroom, aimed it at himself- though thankfully it didn’t fire.
Keanon Lowe was a football coach and security guard at the time. While he was on duty he came across Angel in that classroom with the firearm, and thanks to the bullet not firing, he was able to cross the room in time to take the gun away from Angel. The security camera caught the two walking into the hallway. The shot gun was in one of Keanon’s hands, the other was wrapped around angel.
Another teacher quickly enters the scene and grabs the gun from Keanon. Keanon quickly moves from security guard mode to comforting mentor. Instead of responding in anger or aggression, we’re surprised to see that Keanon reacts in compassion, and wraps the teen in a hug. Angel is resistant at first, but soon relaxes into the embrace of the security guard and sobs. “I just wanted to let him know that I was there for him. I told him I was there to save him, I was there for a reason, and that this is a life worth living.” Keanon said in an interview.
Police soon arrived at the scene and took Angel from Keanon. Unfortunately the teen is faced with a series of charges, but will be receiving metal health and substance abuse treatment. Things could have gone a lot differently if Keanon wouldn’t have shown up. Angel’s attorney called Keanon’s actions “decisive, courageous, and compassionate.” Angel was also thankful for the actions of this security guard, and a statement from his attorney stated “Angel would like to thank Mr. Lowe the first responders, the Parkrose High School community, and all those that supported him throughout the process.
A lot of people are calling Keanon a hero, but he insists that he was simply in the right place at the right time. Keanon posted on Twitter shortly after the incident, “When confronted with the test the universe presented me with, I didn’t see any other choice but to act. Thank God, I passed.” Needless to say things would be a lot different if Keanon had not interacted with Angel. It just goes to show what a little compassion can do, and that life is worth living no matter what.
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