A 34-year-old man who was attempting to enter an Alabama elementary school was fatally shot by an armed school resource officer on June 9.
The man, North Carolina resident Robert Tyler White, did not have children at the school.
There were 34 children at the Walnut Park Elementary School campus for camp when the incident took place at around 9:30 a.m.
Etowah County Sheriff Jonathan Horton told Al.com that a resident called Attalla police to report that there was a suspicious man outside the building.
The man also attempted to get into a marked Rainbow City patrol vehicle that was being used by the school resource officer.
Gadsden City School Superintendent Tony Reddick told the outlet that he was “aggressively” trying to gain access to the school through several doorways, prompting a lockdown.
When the school resource officer confronted White, he attempted to steal the officer’s weapon.
It is unclear if White was armed. He was fatally shot in front of the school. The officer obtained minor injuries.
Within minutes of the incident, dozens of officers from several different agencies were all responding to the scene.
“We’re just so thankful that none of this involved the children,” Reddick said while speaking to reporters. “Everyone followed the safety protocols that we’ve drilled on.”
In a tweet, the governor praised their quick action and success in keeping the children safe.
When a situation ensued outside of Walnut Park School in Gadsden today, SROs immediately took action, faculty inside the building followed safety protocols and all children present were kept out of harm’s way. I commend all involved for acting quickly to protect these children.
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) June 9, 2022
“When a situation ensued outside of Walnut Park School in Gadsden today, SROs immediately took action, faculty inside the building followed safety protocols and all children present were kept out of harm’s way. I commend all involved for acting quickly to protect these children,” Governor Kay Ivey wrote.
All of the children were picked up within 20 minutes and most had no idea that anything had even happened.