Alabama police shot and killed a “potential intruder” who tried to enter an elementary school where summer programs were being held on Thursday morning, officials said.
Robert White, 32, showed up to Walnut Park Elementary School and tried to open several exterior doors — but they were all locked, Gadsden City Schools Superintendent Tony Reddick told reporters.
The school principal noticed the “potential intruder” and alerted the school resource officer, Reddick said.
The school resource officer confronted White, who was later seen attempting to break into a Rainbow City police car, The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said in a statement provided to The Post. Additional officers from the Gadsden Police Department arrived at the school to assist, the statement said.
White resisted and tried to take the resource officer’s gun. At some point, he was fatally shot and pronounced dead, the agency said. Additional details were not immediately available.
Although school is out for the summer, 34 children were inside for summer literacy classes.
It’s not clear if White was armed or why he was trying to get into the school or the police car.
Reddick said the resource officer sustained minor injuries and no students were hurt. Most of the children did not even notice the chaos outside.
“Our primary concern was just making sure that someone who wasn’t authorized to be in our building does not enter and our kids are safe,” he said.
Officials are unsure what White was doing in the area, Reddick said.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey commended the resource officer and school staff for their quick response to the situation.
“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,” she tweeted. “I commend all involved for acting quickly to protect these children.”
Schools across the country have been on edge after 19 fourth graders and two teachers were murdered by an 18-year-old gunman at an elementary school in Uvalde Texas just two weeks ago.
With Post Wires