Horror and heroism at Parkrose High School

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A student who walked into Parkrose High School Friday morning armed with a shotgun was wrestled to the ground by the school’s football coach. 

The student was exhibiting “concerning behavior” that led two fellow students to report him to school staff, school officials said. 

Student Diamond Morris told KOIN 6 News she talked to the suspect in gym class and he told her he had tried to commit suicide a few times and was drinking and smoking to stop his pain.

“….after he told me all that I was worried and when the bell rang I told the teacher,” Diamond said. 

The student later went into a classroom, where football coach Keanon Lowe tackled him.

School resource officers also rushed to the hallway where Lowe detained the suspect, who was later identified as 18-year-old Parkrose High School student, Angel Granados Dias

When the call came in at 11:48 a.m., nearly the entire PPB East Precinct responded to the school at 12003 NE Shaver Street.

“Numerous extra resources flooded this way,” Sgt. Brad Yakots said at a press briefing around 1:30 p.m.

Watch: Police respond to Parkrose High School gun scare

No shots were confirmed to be fired and Yakots said no other suspects were found during a sweep of the entire school.

Police said the student was armed with a shotgun, which was recovered at the scene. 

Football coach Keanon Lowe tackled the gunman, KOIN 6 News learned.

This is a 2016 photo of Keanon Lowe of the San Francisco 49ers NFL football team. This image reflects the San Francisco 49ers active roster as of Thursday, February 18, 2016 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

There is a “crime scene within the campus” and Yakots said investigators are still working to determine where the suspect walked from or if he had parked on campus. 

The school was searched methodically, room by room. Students were not allowed to have access to their personal items for a time. The middle school was also on lockdown as a precaution, but it was lifted around 2:30 p.m.

Parents picked up their students at the Kmart at NE 122nd and Sandy and most were gone by 3 p.m. 

Students reaction

Students had vivid memories of what happened in the time leading up to and during the incident.

“I’m just sitting in class. Our security guard comes in he was looking for the suspect,” said senior Alexa Pope. “[A] second person comes in with a trench coat and has a big gun in his hand.”

Pope said she could hardly believe it was a real gun but ran when her boyfriend told her to run.

“It was truly terrifying,” she said. “None of us knew if we were going to come out alive.”

Diamond Morris said she was scared and no one knew what was going on. “There were all types of different stories.”

She said the suspect “told me he tried to commit suicide a couple times,” and he said “it was overbearing when you get ready to hurt other people.”

Diamond said she told a teacher about her concerns about the suspect 

Diamond’s mother, Elaine Higgins, said she arrived at the school to take her daughter to lunch but it was blocked off. 

“This is stressful, very stressful. I’m just thankful my kids are safe.”

Watch: Students reunite with families after Parkrose HS gun scare

Parents reaction

Jessica, a parent of students at Parkrose High School, said she got messages from her daughters that there was a shooter at the school, May 17, 2019 (KOIN)

One parent, Jesika Diaz, said she got messages from her daughters that there was a shooter at the school and “to come and get me.”

She said she left work and “just ran to get my kids,” and said she was panicking to get her child. Diaz said she was allowed to hug her daughter, but all the students were to be questioned before being released to parents.

Diaz said her daughter told her “the shooter came into her class.”

One grandmother who spoke with KOIN 6 News said, “This is not what you send your children to school for.”

The school will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for students to pick up anything they left behind. 

Parkrose High School’s junior and senior prom is going on as scheduled on Saturday, May 18. Superintendent Michael Lopes Serrao said after talking to students, they decided not to cancel it after Friday’s incident. Chaperones will be prepared to offer support to students who need it. 

Classes will also resume on Monday with additional counseling for students and staff all week. 

Parkrose Superintendant’s letter to families 

 
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