Armed Georgia Tech Student Shot, Killed by Campus Police
A cell phone video recording from a dorm room shows the student advancing towards officers who repeatedly ask to drop the weapon.
A student at Georgia Tech was shot and killed by campus police after refusing to put down a knife.
A 911 call reported a “person with a knife and a gun” in a parking lot outside of student dorms. When campus police arrived, Scout Schultz, who was the president of the school’s Pride Alliance student group, did not have a gun but was armed with a knife, reports The Washington Post. Pictures from the scene indicate the knife’s blade was not extended.
The 21-year-old engineering student can be seen in a video recording from a dorm room above the parking lot, advancing towards several officers who repeatedly ask Schultz to drop the weapon.
“Come on man, let’s drop the knife,” says one officer. Schultz continues to walk towards the officer, yelling, “Shoot me!”
The officer is seen continuing to back up, eventually moving behind a parking barricade, stating, “Nobody wants to hurt you, man.”
Officers are also heard repeatedly asking, “What’s your name?” Another officer called out to Schultz, asking, “What are we doing here?”
Schultz was subsequently shot in the chest, according to the Journal-Constitution, after a final plea to drop the weapon. Schultz died early Sunday at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.
Schultz’s mother, Lynne Schultz, says she assumed her child had been killed at a campus protest. She says Scout did not identify as a male or a female and preferred the pronoun “they” or “them”.
She described Schultz as a “scary smart” perfectionist with depression, indicating Schultz had tried to commit suicide two years ago.
“Why didn’t they use some non-lethal force, like pepper spray or Tasers?” Schultz asked in an interview with the Journal-Constitution. A spokesman for Georgia Tech says campus police do not carry stun guns or Tasers but are equipped with pepper spray.
The Schultz’s attorney, Chris Stewart, says the officer who shot Scout overreacted.
“I think (Scout) was having a mental breakdown and didn’t know what to do,” says Stewart. “The area was secured. There was no one around at risk.”
Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles says she did not know if the officer who shot Schultz had been trained in handling suspects who have mental disorders, reports ABC News.
The officer has not been named and it is unknown if any disciplinary action will be taken.
Scout’s father, Bill Schultz, says the family is still gathering facts but plans to hold a news conference Monday.
In a Facebook post from the Pride Alliance student-run group, Schultz is described as the “driving force” behind the group who pushed for more events.
“Scout always reminded us to think critically about the intersection of identities and how a multitude of factors play into one’s experience on Tech’s campus and beyond.”
A vigil will be held by the group on Monday night.