The most important play of Keanon Lowe's life came not during his days on the gridiron but in an Oregon classroom, where instincts took over for the college football star-turned-high school coach as he tackled a would-be school shooter -- and prevented a potential tragedy.
Lowe, who once starred as wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks, recalled the split-second decision to take down the armed man.
Lowe told “Good Morning America” Sunday that he initially went to the Fine Arts Building at Parkrose High School in Portland to respond to a “regular call,” according to the Oregonian. But when he walked into the classroom, Lowe said he was confronted with a student holding a shotgun.
“I lunged for the gun and we both had the gun,” Lowe said. “We had four hands on the gun and 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 towards where the students are running but also not pointed at myself.”
Lowe said he ended up getting control of the gun with one arm while fighting the student off with his other arm, adding "everything happened so fast."
“For me, I feel like I was put in that room in that very moment for a reason -- to protect those kids,” Lowe told “Good Morning America.”
Lowe played football at the University of Oregon from 2011 to 2014, catching 10 touchdown passes and recording nearly 900 receiving yards. He later worked as an analyst for the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.
Police on Saturday identified the gunman as Angel Granados Dias. He was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on suspicion of possessing a firearm in a public building, attempting to shoot a gun at a school and reckless endangerment, police said.
Dias was being held on $500,000 bail and was set to make a court appearance Monday.
Dias, a student at Parkrose High School, appeared to be distraught when he appeared at the door outside a classroom and pulled the weapon from a long trench coat, witnesses told the Oregonian.
Classes were expected to resume Monday with an enhanced security presence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.