Knife-wielding campus pride leader killed by police at Georgia Tech – Washington Post
The student killed by police on the Georgia Tech campus on Saturday night was known as an aspiring political activist who served as president of the university’s Pride Alliance.
The parents of Scout Schultz said that their child, who identified as neither male nor female, had suffered from anxiety and depression and had spent time in counseling after attempting suicide by hanging two years ago.
But Scout’s death came as a surprise to Lynne and Bill Schultz, who described Scout as “a very loving and caring and empathetic person.”
“I don’t think there was a single person that didn’t love them and cherish them for their involvement in the different causes,” Bill Schultz said.
He said that Scout was “all for justice for everyone. Now we have to seek justice for Scout.”
“We’re proud of them for standing up for what they believe in,” Lynne Schultz said.
Police encountered Scout Schultz, a 21-year-old computer engineering student, in a parking lot outside the dorms after someone called 911 to report “a person with a knife and a gun,” according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Schultz wasn’t holding a gun in video recorded from a window above the parking lot shortly before midnight, as the campus was placed on lockdown.
The bureau wrote in a statement that the student was armed with a knife but L. Chris Stewart, a lawyer representing Scout’s family, said that was a mischaracterization. Stewart said that photos from the scene show that Scout had a 12-piece multi-tool at the time of the shooting but that the knife blade was not extended. Steward said that Scout was being portrayed inaccurately as carrying a more dangerous weapon.
“It’s just offensive that that narrative was put out that Scout was some knife-wielding individual where you picture someone running around with some butcher knife when that’s just not the case,” said Stewart.
Stewart said that Scout was shot once and that the bullet pierced their heart. Stewart said that only one officer fired and that none of the other officers who responded from the Georgia Tech police department had been issued Tasers. A spokesman for Georgia Tech told CNN that campus police do not carry stun guns.
“That’s baffling to me that on a college campus you’d rather give the officers the most deadly weapons and not equip them with less lethal weapons,” Stewart said, noting that Scout’s family is hoping that their death leads to reforms within the department, including better training.
Video shows officers repeatedly telling Schultz to drop the weapon as the student advances.
“Come on man, let’s drop the knife,” an officer with his gun drawn says in the graphic video. But Schultz walks toward him.
The officer keeps backing up, moving behind a parking barricade and imploring again: “Nobody wants to hurt you, man.”
At least four officers had surrounded Schultz, according to WSB-TV. In the video, one of the officers called out to the student, who consequently turned away from the barricade and began to move toward the new voice.
“What are we doing here?” the officer asked. No reply.
“Do not move!”
“Drop it!” someone says finally, as Schultz takes three more steps toward an officer, followed by the report of a gunshot and many screams.
Schultz died early Sunday at an Atlanta hospital — one of about 700 people shot and killed by police in the United States this year.
Citing the state investigation into its officers actions, Georgia Tech declined to comment on the incident — though a spokesman called it a “tragic death.”