Keanon Lowe will receive a Congressional Medal of Honor, Citizen Honor, for the courage and humanity he showed in May 2019 when, after disarming a student seeking to harm himself with a rifle, Lowe folded the teenager into a hug.
The high school football coach and former Oregon wide receiver is one of six to be chosen by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. The society defines citizen honorees as those who, “exemplify the values embodied in the Medal of Honor: courage, sacrifice, commitment, integrity, citizenship, and patriotism” outside of the US military.
The organization announced Lowe will receive the Single Act of Heroism award. “[He was] selected for his courageous act when he disarmed a student with a loaded shotgun during an incident at Parkrose High School in Portland, Oregon… Mr. Lowe is attributed with saving the lives of the students and faculty of Parkrose High School.”
Last May, video of the incident went viral. It shows Lowe, 27 at the time, disarm the student and hand the weapon to a nearby faculty member before holding the teenager in an embrace until the police arrive.
A video just surfaced of former Oregon WR Keanon Lowe taking a rifle from a gunman and preventing a school shooting. But it doesn’t happen the way most would expect.— Dylan (@dyllyp) October 19, 2019
“I told him I care about him, that people care about him.”pic.twitter.com/EP8KDjhWpB
“In that time, I felt compassion for him,” Lowe told local media last October. “A lot of times, especially when you’re young, you don’t realize what you’re doing until it’s over.”
According to The Oregonian, the student will undergo three years of probation and mental health treatment for violating gun safety laws.
Lowe shares the Single Act of Heroism Award with Riley Howell, a college student who is recognized posthumously for protecting University of North Carolina classmates from a shooter in 2018.