Police shot and killed a man who was purportedly “aggressively” trying to enter an elementary school in eastern Alabama.
The incident came just two weeks after 21 people — 19 students and two teachers — were murdered in Uvalde, Texas, when a teenage gunman entered an elementary school and went on a shooting rampage.
Etowah County Sheriff Jonathon Horton said that a man, identified as 32-year-old Robert Tyler White, arrived at Walnut Park Elementary in Gadsden, Alabama, around 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
According to Gadsden City Schools superintendent Tony Reddick, White “aggressively” attempted to enter the school, checking several doors to see if they were unlocked. His suspicious activity prompted a lockdown. Several dozen students were at the school at the time.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said in statement that White then attempted to enter a vehicle belonging to the school resource officer, which triggered an altercation with the officer. At some point, White allegedly attempted to take the officer’s weapon.
The altercation ended with White being shot and killed.
“An individual was attempting to make forcible entry into a marked Rainbow City patrol vehicle at which point a School Resource Officer (SRO) with the Rainbow City Police Department attempted to stop the subject,” the ALEA statement said, WIAT-TV reported. “The subject resisted and attempted to take the officer’s firearm.”
White never made entry into the school. Police have not said if he was armed. No students were harmed in the incident.
Man trying to ‘aggressively’ enter Gadsden elementary school shot and killed by police
Horton later told media that while he hates that someone lost their life, “that’s what happens” when someone acts as White allegedly did.
“We put a lot into our schools in this county, and you hate to see anyone lose their life, but that’s what happens when people try to do things to hurt our kids. At least it ended in the front yard and everybody, the staff, and students are safe. The officers are safe,” Horton said.
Reddick said the students fortunately were mostly unaware of the incident. He explained they had been practicing school safety this week, so they believed the incident was just another drill.
The school resource officer received minor injuries in the incident but is expected to recover.