PORTLAND, Ore. — Parkrose High School held prom as planned Saturday night, a day after a student showed up at the Northeast Portland school armed with a shotgun.
In a letter to families of students on Friday, Parkrose superintendent Michael Lopes-Serrao said the decision to still have prom came after talking with students and staff.
“It is important for our students to connect and make memories with their friends,” he said in the letter.
Students showed up at Waterfront Park Saturday evening and were taking pictures and sharing laughs before getting on the Portland Spirit.
'Yes, something traumatic and shocking happened yesterday, but we’re still a community. We’re still here for each other, and we’re here to have fun together," said senior Rebecca Benitez.
"I personally think it’s really good for us to remember we are kids and we are students, that we should have this time to enjoy ourselves while we’re still here," said senior Megan Le.
Lopes-Serrao said the chaperone staff at prom was prepared for students who may need support following Friday's terrifying ordeal.
No one was injured during the gun scare, and the armed student was taken into custody. He was tackled by Keanon Lowe, the school’s football coach who is also a security guard at the school.
Lopes-Serrao said the student, whom police identified Saturday as 18-year-old Angel Granados-Diaz, will not return to the school.
Lopes-Serrao thanked students for alerting staff about the suspect’s concerning behavior and recognized the security staff’s “heroic efforts” that kept everyone safe.
“This was a difficult day for students, staff and our community. We are Parkrose Strong and showed that strength today," he said on Friday.
Although no one was hurt, it was still a traumatic experience for students. Many were forced to hide, and others ran away from school out of fear for their lives.
School will resume as usual on Monday. There will be additional counseling for students and staff throughout the week, as well as an increased security presence, Lopes-Serrao said.