Keanon Lowe works as a football coach at a high school in Oregon. Last year he stopped a student who wanted to kill himself with a shotgun. Now he receives the highest award in the United States.
Keanon Lowe, a football coach at a high school in the state of Oregon, did something extraordinary last year: he disarmed a student who had come to school with a shotgun to kill himself. After handing over the gun to a school employee, he hugged the youth and spoke well to the desperate. For the heroic deed, he now receives the “Citizen Congressional Medal of Honor”, the highest award for civilians in the USA.
The event is well documented because it was recorded by school security cameras. The pictures show Lowe entering the school building. Then Lowe can be seen in the entrance to a classroom, already holding the gun in his hand. The student makes no resistance. Lowe’s action primarily gave him time when the police were able to secure the site.
Lowe: Pity him
“I felt sorry for him at the moment,” Lowe told local broadcaster Katu last October when the video material went public. “Very often, and especially when you’re young, you don’t understand what you’re doing until it’s over.” The student was sentenced to three years suspended probation and had to undergo psychological treatment.
Lowe is one of six award winners selected by the congressional selection committee. This includes Riley Howell, a college student who lost his life last year when protecting classmates from a gunman at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The reasoning says: Lowe and the other honorary citizens exemplify “the values embodied in the medal of honor: courage, sacrifice, commitment, integrity, citizenship and patriotism.”
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