A man was shot to death after attempting to enter an Alabama elementary school and trying to take a resource officer’s gun, local authorities said.
Robert Tyler White, 32, of Bunnlevel, North Carolina, was identified by Etowah County Coroner London Pearce on Thursday afternoon.
White reportedly approached several locked doors at Walnut Park Elementary School in Gadsden, Alabama, where a summer camp program was being held. The school immediately went into lockdown and the principle contacted the school resource officer, police stated.
The resource officer confronted White as he attempted to break into a marked Rainbow City Police car outside the school. When the officer approached, White tried to take the officer’s gun. Additional officers from Gadsden City Police responded to the scene, and White was injured and killed by gunfire.
About 35 children attending the summer camp program were inside the school when the incident happened. Another 22 children attending a Parks and Recreation summer camp were also on the campus. All were reported safe and transported by bus to Gadsden City High School, where they were reunited with their parents in about 20 minutes, according to the Gadsden Times.
‘We’re just so thankful that none of this involved the children. Everyone followed the safety protocols that we’ve drilled on,’ Gadsden City Schools Superintendent Tony Reddick told AL.com.
‘If there was ever an example of what the right think to do is, it was exemplified here today.’
‘SROs immediately took action, faculty inside the building followed safety protocols and all children present were kept out of harm’s way,’ Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said on Twitter. ‘I commend all involved for acting quickly to protect these children.’
White’s motive remains unknown, and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is investigating the incident.
The shooting occurred just over two weeks after an armed intruder gained access to an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and killed 21 people, including nineteen children.
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