School resource officer shoots ‘suspicious man’ dead after he tried to enter a locked elementary school in Alabama
- A ‘suspicious man’ was shot dead at Walnut Park Elementary school in Gadsden, Alabama, on Thursday
- The man reportedly arrived on school property around 9.30am and had attempted to get inside vehicles and buildings
- The school’s resource officer responded to an assistance call and got into a physical altercation with the suspect
- He then shot and killed the suspect. It is unclear if the suspect was armed
- The officer, who also works for Rainbow City Police, received minor injuries
An Alabama school resource officer shot a ‘suspicious man’ dead after he attempted to enter the locked school on Thursday.
The man reportedly arrived on school property around 9.30am on Thursday and ‘aggressively’ attempted to get inside vehicles and buildings at Walnut Park Elementary in Gadsden, the sheriff confirmed.
The elementary school immediately went into lockdown, according to AL.com.
The school officer, who also works for Rainbow City Police, responded to an assistance call from other law enforcement when a physical altercation began.
The suspect was shot and killed. The resources officer received minor injuries, according to WHNT 19.
It is unclear if the man was armed. The suspect reported tried to get the officer’s service weapon, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA).
‘An individual was attempting to make forcible entry into a marked Rainbow City patrol vehicle at which point a School Resource Officer with the Rainbow City Police Department attempted to stop the subject,’ ALEA said in a statement, viewed by the Gadsden Times.
‘The subject resisted and attempted to take the officer’s firearm.’
A ‘suspicious man’ was seen trying to get into Walnut Park Elementary around 9.30am on Thursday. He was shot dead by the school’s resource officer and it is unclear if he was armed
A heavy police presence still remains at the scene in Alabama
Superintendent Tony Reddick said Principal Alison Correll was notified about a ‘potential intruder, who was trying to come in or out several doors of the building.’
‘I got a call from the principal, who’s really distraught, and I really couldn’t make out what was happening, but I knew it was something pretty bad.’
By the time he arrived at the school, the man was already dead.
He went on to say: ‘The principal was alerted immediately, [and] she went around and made sure it was all secure,’ Reddick told the press. He said the principal next contacted the officer and moved ‘curious’ teachers away from the area.
A summer literacy program was reportedly going on inside and it was believed there was around 35 children attending. Roughly 20 other students that were participating in the Parks and Recreation summer camp was also on campus, according Gadsden Times.
Reddick also said all the doors remained locked and that the intruder never gained access to the school. He said the children were ‘oblivious’ to what was going on.
A crime scene unit was seen on school property after the event and a heavy police presence still remains there.
Superintendent Tony Reddick confirmed that no one in the school was hurt and that the suspect had tried to gain access to the school through multiple entrances
Teachers and students were transported to Garden City High School, where all the students have since been picked up, according to AL.com.
Parents were told to bring identification at pickup in order to take their children home, WHNT reported.
‘We’re just so thankful that none of this involved the children,’ Reddick told the press. ‘Everyone followed the safety protocols that we’ve drilled on.’
Reddick also said that he and the principal had recently attended a seminar that helped educators prepare for events like this and said they were careful to keep the doors locked following the Uvalde school shooting.
He also said the school will review its response to the situation to see if they can strength it, the Gadsden Times reported.
‘At the end of the day, the good news is no one made it into the building, and the kids were safe,’ Etowah County Sheriff Jonathan Horton told AL.com.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau is investigating the incident.