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A man described by police as “suspicious” has been shot and killed by a school resource officer after attempting to enter an Alabama elementary school Thursday morning, reports say. 

The gunfire erupted outside Walnut Park Elementary in Gadsden around 9:30 a.m. after the individual showed up and attempted to gain entry into vehicles and buildings, Etowah County Sheriff Jonathan Horton told WIAT. 

“I got a call from the principal, who’s really distraught, and I really couldn’t make out what was happening,” Tony Reddick, superintendent of Gadsden City Schools, told the station. “But I knew it was something pretty bad.” 

A school resource officer who belongs to the Rainbow City Police Department reportedly responded to the scene and called for backup. The individual – who has not been identified — was shot after a physical altercation ensued, according to WIAT, citing police. 

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The incident happened Thursday, June 9, outside the Walnut Park Elementary school in Gadsden, Alabama.
(Google Maps)

It was not immediately clear whether that man was armed. 

In a separate interview with AL.com, Reddick said the person “aggressively” tried to open several doors and that the building went into lockdown. 

A school resource officer who works for Rainbow City Police opened fire at the man, according to WIAT.

A school resource officer who works for Rainbow City Police opened fire at the man, according to WIAT.
(Rainbow City Police Department)

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He said there were 34 children inside the school at the time for a summer literacy camp, all of whom were safely transported to a nearby location for pickup. 

“We’re just so thankful that none of this involved the children,” Reddick said. “Everyone followed the safety protocols that we’ve drilled on.” 

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