Nearby residents react to officer involved shooting outside Gadsden Elementary School
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - More than thirty students were inside an elementary school in Gadsden when a man was shot and killed by police for trying to take the school resource officer’s gun and get inside his parked police car.
Residents tell WBRC they heard what they think were at least four gunshots around 10:00 a.m. on June 9.
“I heard maybe four gunshots going off,” resident Alison Bishop said. “I kinda got freaked out. We saw a bunch of cops going down there and a bunch of parents trying to get their kids. It made me feel bad because I didn’t know if the kids got hurt.”
Police said 32-year-old Robert Tyler White was shot and killed right out front of the elementary school.
ALEA said White was trying to break into a parked police car. Superintendent Tony Reddick said nearby neighbors saw White tugging on school building doors. ALEA said White tried to take the school resource officer’s gun and resisted police before he was shot.
Multiple departments were on scene and WBRC does not know if White was armed or what department fired shots at him.
Nearby residents said they are thankful police acted so quickly.
“I think they did a good job,” Bishop said. “Because, they were doing their best to protect the kids at all cost. Especially near a school and there are a bunch of kids in there and you don’t know what is gonna happen.”
“I felt like they handled it the best way that they could have,” resident Gabrielle Barnard said. “I’m very aware with my daughter in a store, so if I see something strange then we are moving or leaving, so I would definitely want someone to do that for my child and keep her safe.”
ALEA is still investigating, but police said no children or faculty were hurt. Police officers suffered minor injuries.
Reddick said all 34 kids were off school property within twenty minutes of the shooting and back with their parents.
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