Keanon Lowe, a football and track coach at Parkrose High School in Portland, Oreg., disarmed a suicidal student and then hugged him. For that act, Lowe is being awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor – Citizen Honor.
According to the society, Lowe is one of six such honorees chosen by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. While Medals of Honor are typically awarded to members of the US military, Lowe and the other citizen honorees “exemplify the values embodied in the Medal of Honor: courage, sacrifice, commitment, integrity, citizenship, and patriotism.”
He has been selected for his courageous act when he disarmed a student with a loaded shotgun during an incident at Parkrose High School in Portland, Oregon. His action saved the lives of the students and faculty of Parkrose High school.
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In May 2019, Lowe stopped a student from harming himself with a shotgun at Parkrose High School in Portland. According to the footage released, Lowe disarmed the student and handed the firearm to nearby faculty members. Then and there, Lowe wrapped the student in his arms and held him close.
The teen, Granados-Diaz who had planned to take his own life before Lowe intervened, was later sentenced to three years of probation and mental health treatment for bringing a weapon to school.
“In that time, I felt compassion for him,” Lowe told KATU in October. “A lot of times, especially when you’re young, you don’t realize what you’re doing until it’s over.”
Lowe shares the Single Act of Heroism Award by the society with Riley Howell of Waynesville, NC, selected for his courageous act when he shielded students from a gunman during an incident at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte. Howell did not survive the attack, but saved the lives of many students.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Medal of Honor ceremony for citizen honorees has been postponed indefinitely.