Parkrose High School students return to heavily patrolled campus Monday
Parkrose High School students returned to school Monday, May 20 to increased police presence surrounding their campus, after an armed student was intercepted there just three days prior.
Monday also marked the arraignment of Angel Granados Diaz, 19, the Parkrose student who was arrested for bringing a loaded shotgun to school.
On Friday, May 17, Parkrose coach and security guard Keanon Lowe tackled Granados Diaz after student was reportedly found on campus with a loaded gun. Police reports described the incident as a suicide attempt with a firearm.
Diaz was arrested and booked into Multnomah County Jail and his bail was later set at $500,000.
He appeared in court Monday, on his 19th birthday, where he was arraigned on charges of possessing a firearm or dangerous weapon inside a public building, possession of a loaded firearm in public, and one recklessly endangering, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office reported Monday.
According to Parkrose School District Superintendent Michael Lopes Serrao, Diaz was confronted after two high school students alerted a staff member about "concerning behavior" from Diaz.
"Our security staff responded and found the student with a gun and quickly disarmed the student," Serrao stated in a letter to families later that day. "Teachers quickly called for a lockdown and contacted police. Police arrived, apprehended the student, and took the student into custody. The student will not be returning to school."
School officials with Parkrose weren't available to speak to media Monday, but Serrao spent the day making his rounds to check on schools, district staff confirmed.
In a follow-up letter to parents and families posted online Sunday, Serrao said he met with a response team to map out a plan for the coming week, following Friday's incident. He alluded to "increased security presence," in keeping with district protocol. Counseling and support services were made available to high school students and staff, and the district arranged for middle school students and staff to have similar resources available. Elementary school teachers were also given talking points to discuss with young students, according to the district.
A community forum for families and students was also scheduled for Tuesday evening, to focus on providing support to students.
Neighboring district Portland Public Schools offered support and resources to Parkrose after the incident.
The day after the arrest, PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero called Lowe's actions "a true act of heroism." Guerrero said it demonstrates that all school staff are responsible for keeping schools safe, and called on lawmakers to do more to ensure greater gun safety, in the wake of frequent school shootings across the country.
"Yesterday's incident is very concerning," Guerrero said Saturday, May 18 during a groundbreaking ceremony hosted at Portland's Madison High School. "We continue to see safety incidents like this that turn tragic all around the country. Unfortunately, this pattern of gun violence doesn't seem to subside. I sure hope our lawmakers take action to make sure this pattern doesn't keep happening."
While a suspect was apprehended in time to prevent any gun violence at the Portland school, the incident isn't the first time Oregon schools have faced threats and realities of gun violence.
In 2015, nine people were killed at the Umpqua Community College campus in Roseburg when a gunman opened fire there, before taking his own life.
The year prior, a student was shot and killed and a teacher was wounded by another student who brought a gun on campus at Reynolds High School in Troutdale. The shooter in that case also shot himself.
In 2007, 10 students were injured at Springwater Trail High School in Gresham after a student fired shots into the school from a distance, using a hunting rifle.
In 1998, a student wearing a trench coat opened fire at Thurston High School, killing two students and wounding more than two dozen more.
As Angel Granados-Diaz entered Parkrose High School on Friday carrying a shotgun, football coach and security guard Keanon Lowe confronted him.
Lowe is a graduate of Jesuit High School and a former University of Oregon wide receiver.
Lowe was honored at Monday night's Trail Blazers' game. He also appeared over the weekend on ABC's "Good Morning America" and talked about the incident.
"I lunged for the gun; we both had the gun. We had four hands on the gun," Lowe told the talk show hosts. "Students are running out of the back of the classroom. And I'm just trying to make sure that the end of the gun isn't pointing toward where the students are turning. But also not pointed at myself."
Lowe said he was able to get the gun with his right hand while holding Granados-Diaz off with his left.
"And calling for a teacher to come grab the gun from me," he said.
The day after the arrest, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero called Lowe's actions "a true act of heroism." Guerrero said it demonstrates that all school staff are responsible for keeping schools safe, and called on lawmakers to do more to ensure greater gun safety, in the wake of frequent school shootings across the country.
"Yesterday's incident is very concerning," Guerrero said Saturday, May 18, during a groundbreaking ceremony hosted at Portland's Madison High School. "We continue to see safety incidents like this that turn tragic all around the country. Unfortunately, this pattern of gun violence doesn't seem to subside. I sure hope our lawmakers take action to make sure this pattern doesn't keep happening."