It’s heartbreaking how little traction stories like this get in the media. Sure, you see small times, bloggers, and even side notes by big agencies talk about it—But does it get the same amount of attention as a story that paints officers out to be the devil? Of course not.
According to a report from AL.com, a resident living close to Walnut Park Elementary School near Birmingham, Alabama, called police “reporting a suspicious man outside the school.” The man was “aggressively” trying to enter vehicles and multiple doorways. At the time, 34 children were inside the school for a summer literacy camp and went into lockdown, Gadsden City School Superintendent Tony Reddick told the outlet.
“A school resource officer on site responded, talked with the man and called for backup. When a second officer arrived, an altercation ensued,” AL.com reported. “The suspect was then fatally shot. Officials have not said if the man was armed.”
Etowah County Coroner London Pearce identified the man as Robert Tyler White, 32. Pearce said the man lived in the Gadsden area; however, a news release from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said he was from Bunnlevel, North Carolina.
WVTM13 reported that The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency later reported the person was attempting to “forcibly enter” a marked Rainbow City patrol vehicle near the school when the resource officer attempted to stop him.
A physical fight ensued and ALEA reported the suspect was attempting to take the officer’s gun. ALEA said Gadsden police officers arrived at the scene to provide backup.
The altercation ended when the suspect reportedly tried to take the officer’s weapon. He was shot dead on the scene.
The children were successfully taken from Walnut Park Elementary and transported to Gadsden City High School. A Thursday morning social media message from the Gadsden/Etowah County Emergency Management Agency informed residents of an “ongoing” police incident, asked them to avoid the area, and instructed parents to bring identification to the high school to pick up their children.
The officers won’t be getting a parade for saving the summer school students from this obviously deranged man. I can only hope that they see articles, like this, and know that we thank them for their service. It may not be ‘hip’ but many of us out here still back the blue and haven’t drunk the liberal koolaid.