High School football coach wrestles armed suspect to ground in Portland, OR

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Parkrose High School football coach wrestled an armed suspect to the ground shortly before noon, prompting a heavy police response to the school in Northeast Portland.

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.Pacific.

Coach Keanon Lowe tackled the person with a gun before any shots were fired on campus Friday. Students and parents are calling him a hero. 

Lowe was a wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks, and was on the coaching staff of the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. 

Students say they were in a government class when a male student entered with a gun but was almost immediately tacked by Lowe.

School resource officers rushed to help Lowe, then took the suspect into custody. The suspect is being interviewed and has not yet been transported to the jail at this time.

No shots were confirmed to be fired and Yakots said no other suspects were found during a sweep of the entire school. He said the incident happened “around the tennis courts” and that “the gun has been recovered.”

Yakots did not identify the type of gun the suspect had, but multiple parents told KOIN 6 News the gunman had a shotgun.

There is a “crime scene within the campus” and Yakots said investigators want to know “where the gun walked from” and “if he parked on campus.”

The school is being searched at this time and is in lockdown. Students are not allowed to have access to their personal items at this time, school officials said.

Parents should pick up their students at the Kmart at NE 122nd and Sandy. Officials said the reunification could take most of Friday afternoon.

Parents reaction

One parent, Jessica, 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. Jessica said she was allowed to hug her daughter, but all the students were to be questioned before being released to parents.

Jessica said her daughter said “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.”

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