Parkrose students celebrate prom after gun scare
Students had a chance to let loose Saturday night just one day after an armed gunman walked into Parkrose High School.
The gunman was wrestled to the ground by the school's football coach Friday and no one was hurt.
The school's prom went on as planned Saturday night on the Portland Spirit in downtown Portland with students grateful to be marking the milestone.
"I've never gone to prom and I've never been on a boat so this is really exciting," senior Rebecca Benitez said. "It really allows for us to come together as a community, after such a traumatic and shocking event."
Sherie Lewis, Parkrose director of business and operations, said officials did consider canceling the prom.
"We didn't want to. We thought about it," said Lewis.
They reconsidered after thinking of what it means for the students.
"Yesterday was a bump in the road but Parkrose is a family all in all — that's important," Lewis continued.
"I thought it was going to be canceled," senior Maria Pena Coronejo said. "But I think we kind of need it because It was so stressful."
Students hid in their classrooms, fearing for their lives when the student armed with a shotgun showed up.
"Me and my class, we started locking the doors we sat on the floors near the walls away from the windows," Benitez said.
Before the celebrations kicked off, students talked about Coach Keanon Lowe, who took down the suspect.
"It's been crazy, I'm just thankful for Coach Lowe," Pena Coronejo said. "I don't know if we would even be able to celebrate today because of him."
Students told KOIN 6 News they are just around the corner from graduation, too, and they plan to make some happy memories to hold on to.
"To maybe see students that maybe wouldn't be here if things had gone in a different direction so I think it's a really positive thing that we are having prom today and I really hope everybody has fun," Benitez said.
"I guess everybody is going to come together and create a positive vibe after what happened yesterday and it just shows life still goes on," senior Jacobi King said. "Even when things like this happen, so I'm grateful for that."
Portland police identified the suspect as 18-year-old Parkrose High School student Angel Granados Dias.
Dias was charged with possessing a gun in a public building, attempting to discharge a firearm at a school, reckless endangerment and possession of a loaded firearm in a public place.
KOIN News 6 is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can find their story here.