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Police fatally shoot man believed to have been attempting to enter Alabama school

June 10 (UPI) -- Police have shot and killed a man who was believed to have tried to enter an Alabama school, officials and authorities said as fears of school shootings remain high after 19 students and two teachers were killed in Texas late last month.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency identified the suspect in a release as Robert Tyler White, 32, of Bunnlevel, N.C., stating the incident occurred Thursday morning near Walnut Park Elementary School in Gadsden, a city located about 60 miles northeast of Birmingham.

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Gadsden City Schools Superintendent Tony Reddick told reporters during a press briefing that a "potential intruder" had tried to open several doors of the school where 34 students were present for literacy camp.

The principal was alerted to the situation and ensured the school was secure and then contacted the school resource officer who confronted the suspect outside, Reddick said, adding a Rainbow City police officer then arrived on the scene.

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Etowah County Sheriff Jonathon Horton told reporters that a resident had called police about a person attempting to enter cars or the school at about 9:30 a.m.

Multiple agencies responded to the situation and the suspect was shot dead, he said, adding the school resource officer suffered minor injuries.

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The statement from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency does not state that the suspect attempted to enter the school but was trying to force his way into a police car before being confronted by the two law enforcement officers.

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"The subject resisted and attempted to take the officer's firearm," it said, adding the suspect was "injured by gunfire."

Authorities and officials said no students were harmed with Reddick adding that the children were unaware of what was happening.

During the incident, the Etowah County Sheriff's Office instructed the public with a statement on its Facebook page to avoid Walnut park around the school where the children were transported via bus to the Gadsden City High School within 20 minutes.

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Reddick said parents were informed and have since been reunited with their children.

"We are greatly blessed that we've had no incidents with our children here," he said.

Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement commending all involved for "acting quickly to protect these children."

The situation comes amid a series of high-profile shootings in the country that have left scores dead, including 21 people who were killed at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school on May 24.

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