An officer from the Georgia Tech Police Department shot and killed a 21-year-old engineering student who was wielding a multi-purpose tool on campus, authorities say.
Police say they received an emergency call at 11:17 p.m. local time September 17 saying a person was armed with a knife and possibly a gun on campus. Police responded to the scene in large numbers and made contact with the suspect, identified as Scout Schultz, of Lilburn.
According to police, officers tried to negotiate with Schultz to put down the weapon, but the student failed to comply with the orders.
Schultz “was not cooperative and would not comply with the officers’ commands,” the police department wrote in a press release. “Schultz continued to advance on the officers with the knife. Subsequently, one officer fired striking Schultz.”
After initially describing the weapon as a knife, police have since clarified the description and say it was a multi-purpose tool.
Witnesses nearby the West Campus residential community caught much of the incident on shocking video.
In the video, Schultz can be seen barefoot and standing near a parking garage as police have their guns out and attempt to negotiate. Several officers can be heard telling Schultz to drop the weapon numerous times.
“Shoot me,” Schultz can be heard saying about one minute before one of the officers fired.
“Nobody wants to hurt you,” another officer can be heard saying to Schultz.
Schultz begins moving toward officers and momentarily stops.
“Do not move,” an officer can be heard saying as he asks what Schultz’s name is.
Suddenly, Schultz moves at a brisk pace toward an officer and at least one shot is heard as the student hits the ground and starts screaming in agony as the video ends.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident, and an autopsy report isn’t yet available.
Watch the full video captured by a witness below.
NOTE: The below video contains graphic content that may not be suitable for some people.
Schultz was a fourth-year student at Georgia Tech minoring in Biomedical Engineering. Schultz was very active within the campus community and was the president of the Pride Alliance, an LGBTQ campus organization.
The Pride Alliance released an emotional statement on its webpage September 17, saying “they have been the driving force behind Pride Alliance for the past two years.”
As you might have heard, last night we lost our President, Scout Schultz. We are all deeply saddened by what has occurred. They have been the driving force behind Pride Alliance for the past two years. They pushed us to do more events and a larger variety events, and we would not be the organization we are known as without their constant hard work and dedication. Their leadership allowed us to create change across campus and in the Atlanta community. 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.
We love you Scout and we will continue to push for change.
Less than 24 hours after the police-involved shooting, the Schultz family hired a prominent attorney to represent them in the case.
Civil Rights Attorney L. Chris Stewart said on Twitter he was retained to represent the Schultz family as the investigation continues. He said the family is seeking answers as to why officers didn’t use other tactics to subdue Schultz.
“The family of Scout Schultz the Georgia Tech student shot and killed by campus police last night while carrying a small pocket knife, have hired prominent Civil Rights Attorney L. Chris Stewart to investigate the shooting,” a statement posted to social media said. “Questions remain on why a taser or mase was not used. They will address media (September 18) at a press conference.”
Stewart, who’s a partner at Stewart, Seay & Felton, has represented Alton Sterling, Gregory Towns, Walter Scott and Chase Sherman, all who died after incidents with police.