A Georgia Tech student dies in tragic confrontation with campus police. Vigil in his honor turns violent tonight.

Georgia Tech fourth-year computer engineering student Scout Schultz was shot to death Saturday after refusing to drop a kniife in a confrontation wth campus police.

UPDATE MONDAY NIGHT:

A vigil at Georgia Tech to remember a student gunned down by campus police turned violent Monday night.

A police car was set afire as about 50 participants marched to the Georgia Tech Police Department on the corner of Hemphill and First avenues. It was unclear who set  the blaze. An unidentified individual was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment Monday night.

 

A police car is set afire near the Georgia Tech police station Monday night. Photo: Nelson Helm/AJC

 

 

UPDATE from AJC Monday afternoon:

Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz called 911 before being shot by campus police, the GBI reports.

Schultz called 911 alerting them “of a suspicious person on campus. In the call, Schultz describes the person as a white male, with long blonde hair, white T-shirt and blue jeans who is possibly intoxicated, holding a knife and possibly armed with a gun on his hip,” the GBI said in a statement.

Three suicide notes were located in Schultz’s dorm room. Two years ago, Schultz attempted suicide using a belt, the 21-year-old engineering student’s mother told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Schultz was armed only with a multi-purpose tool that contained a knife. The blade was not extended. Schultz can be heard on video telling police to shoot before one of four officers fired a fatal bullet to the chest.

Original blog:

With a child now at Georgia Tech, I’ve been following the shooting death late Saturday night of senior computer engineering student Scout Schultz by campus police.

The deadly incident occurred behind my son’s dorm on the west campus. My husband and I had driven past the site only a few hours earlier after a quick visit. This morning we learned from our son that a fourth-year student was fatally shot by campus police, and that other students had witnessed it. Students were reporting Scout Schultz had a knife, and the police had instructed Scout to drop it a dozen or so times before the shot was fired.

Videos recorded by Tech students captured the exchanges between the police and Scout as well as the shooting. In the videos, police implore Scout to drop what they believe is some sort of knife. The student continues to approach the officers, although not rushing them. A shot is fired, followed by a scream.

The videos generated comments across various social media channels today, many from Tech students or alums. Some wondered why officers couldn’t shoot the student in the leg or arm rather than in the midsection as seems to have occurred.  A former firearms instructor posted, “You shoot to stop the threat, and that’s done by shooting center mass. Whether that ends up disabling the threat or killing is beside the point. Never is the intent to kill.”

The discussions also include questions like this one in a Tech forum on Reddit: “Why can’t a bunch of police take someone like this down non lethally? Did they tase?”

It’s not only Tech students raising that issue. So is the student’s family.

“Why didn’t they use some nonlethal force, like pepper spray or Tasers?” Scout’s mother, Lynne Schultz, said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday.

A Tech spokesman said campus police do not carry Tasers, or stun guns, but are equipped with pepper spray.

Here is an excerpt of the AJC interview with Scout’s mother by Christian Boone:

Scout, she says, was politically active in progressive causes. Scout, a brilliant student despite numerous medical issues, suffered from depression and had attempted suicide two years ago, Lynne Schultz said.

According to Georgia Tech police, Scout was seen walking toward police and ignored numerous orders to drop what appeared to be a pocket knife. Photos of the knife taken at the scene reveal the blade was not extended.

Chris Stewart, the attorney for the student’s parents, said it appears the officer who shot Scout overreacted. “I think (Scout) was having a mental breakdown and didn’t know what to do,” said Stewart, who wondered why nonlethal force wasn’t used. “The area was secured. There was no one around at risk.”

Scout Schultz was shot in the heart and was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at Grady Memorial Hospital, Lynne Schultz said.

Two years ago, Scout attempted suicide by hanging, the student’s mother said. Stewart said he doesn’t believe Scout was attempting “suicide by cop.”

Scout was president of Pride Alliance at Georgia Tech. In its statement, the alliance board said:

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.

This tragedy will likely spur debate on both police response and campus mental health outreach. Second guessing Tech police at this point is foolhardy. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into what happened. We all need to wait for more information and offer our sympathies to Scout’s family and classmates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

170 comments
Kathy
Kathy

My condolences to the devastated family. It saddens me to think that respect and obedience of police instructions could have saved this young man's life. I wonder how we lost that basic idea of listening to the law enforcement officer. If a police officer is acting in an inappropriate manner, there is time to contact a lawyer after the confrontation ends.Maybe we would have less needless deaths.

Babycat
Babycat

Guess the lawsuit the parents were planning just lost some steam and that sleazy lawyer of theirs is probably not returning their calls.

Robert Goodwin
Robert Goodwin

The headline should say that he committed suicide.

class80olddog
class80olddog

When I said it, I was speaking tongue-in-cheek, but now I was correct about the riots.  He planned this very well - get his death (which was primarily what he wanted) and get the additional benefit of violence against the police.  Any sympathy I had for him or his parents has now evaporated.  They are partners in crime and I am glad that he is dead!!

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

First of all, I'm thankful that no innocent bystanders were injured in this confrontation.  I'm also thankful that no police officers were injured while dealing with this mentally unstable individual.

The Monday Morning Quarterbacks who opine that the police coulda, woulda, shoulda have most likely never been in that situation.  I watched the video several times, and noted a few points.

1.  We don't know how long this episode had been going on before the final shot.  We see the police retreating at least 50-75 feet all the while instructing/pleading with this individual to drop the knife.  I heard them instruct Shultz at least 12-15 times to drop the knife.

2.  I don't hear "panic" in the tone of the police officers voices at all, as some of you have stated.  They appear to be calm and professional in their actions.

3.  The police have all been to the same training.  They have watched the videos from body cams of where perpetrators have taken multiple gunshots and still were able to inflict bodily harm upon the officer.  They have seen the videos on how quickly someone can close the distance and attack you with a weapon.  

4.  Those who say the police should have physically disarmed Shultz are living in a fantasy Hollywood movie.  A small, 150# male with a knife can kill you just as quickly as a 250# male with a knife.  Likewise those who say they should have shot him in the leg to disable him.

5.  A taser MIGHT have been used to disable Shultz.  That option was not available to the officers.  A police dog would have also been another option, but again, it was not available to them.  Pepper spray is typically not used when the perpetrator has a weapon.

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

@Lee_CPA2  Sadly, ONE innocent bystander will suffer greatly from this confrontation. It's very likely that the unlucky officer that this guy induced to shoot will suffer for the rest of his/her life with the consequences of this shooting. Completely unfair since the officer was only doing his/her job.

Starik
Starik

"You shoot to stop the threat, and that’s done by shooting center mass. Whether that ends up disabling the threat or killing is beside the point. Never is the intent to kill.”  Oh BS. If that's what they teach they shouldn't be teaching firearms. Shoot somebody in the legs with a pistol they will stop doing what they're doing. 

redweather
redweather

It does sound like he had a plan and brought it to fruition.  In the process, he also made it just a little more difficult to be a police officer.

Carl Jackson
Carl Jackson

I feel sorry for all involved including the police officer who was forced by the knife wielding student to deal with him. Had he run into a dorm, he could have killed others. He left the officer with no choice.

Ron McIntosh
Ron McIntosh

Now the gbi said Schultz made the 911 call to police. Did his parents or close friends have any idea as to his state of mind. I hated that it happened, but they told him at least a dozen times to drop the knife

class80olddog
class80olddog

I presume that the officer that shot him was the one he was advancing towards.  Not panicked - just reacting to a threat.

JKToole
JKToole

@class80olddog Geezus. Watch the video before passing judgement.

Otherwise, you don't know what you are talking about.

And after doing so, tell me, in your opinion, does he look like "a threat"?


class80olddog
class80olddog

@JKToole @class80olddog I DID watch the video - all you can see is the student advancing on the cop - the cop steps backward a couple of times, and the kid keeps coming.

class80olddog
class80olddog

So the guy calls 911 on himself - says he might have a gun, leaves three suicide notes, and his mother "does not believe it was suicide by cop?  Really?


Elisa Maria Chiara
Elisa Maria Chiara

Yes, this was SS 3rd suicide attempt. Clearly one that was successful. We need to address mental health head on in this country.

Julie Scott- Morrill
Julie Scott- Morrill

This is a terribly sad situation for all involved. My prayers go out to all.

Lori Brown Belflower
Lori Brown Belflower

You are taking the Bible and using it for what you want it for. I'm personally glad that they carry guns on campus. Students can carry guns on college campuses, but you don't want the police to be able to???

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

UPDATE from AJC:


Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz called 911 before being shot by campus police, the GBI reports.

Schultz called 911 alerting them “of a suspicious person on campus. 

In the call, Schultz describes the person as a white male, with long blonde hair, white T-shirt and blue jeans who is possibly intoxicated, holding a knife and possibly armed with a gun on his hip,” the GBI said in a statement. 

Three suicide notes were located in Schultz’s dorm room. Two years ago, Schultz attempted suicide using a belt, the 21-year-old engineering student’s mother told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Schultz was armed only with a multi-purpose tool that contained a knife. The blade was not extended. Schultz can be heard on video telling police to shoot before one of four officers fired a fatal bullet to the chest. 



http://www.ajc.com/news/gbi-georgia-tech-student-called-911-before-shooting/WTH4NAGX30oJJEAEK98biN/?ecmp=intownatl

class80olddog
class80olddog

"Georgia Tech Police Department responded to a 911 call about a person with a knife and gun in the area of Eighth Street" - I wonder why police might think he had a gun.

JKToole
JKToole

@class80olddog Watch the video. It runs for nearly two minutes before the kid is shot, in the chest, for slowly advancing, with arms down at his sides, towards one cop, when he surrounded by 5 others - including one he can't see behind him.

JKToole
JKToole

@MaureenDowney @JKToole @class80olddog Yes.  I read the AJC story. He called 911 to report himself.

He left 3 suicide notes. I guess he succeeded.

Still, I don't understand the use of lethal force against him. I imagine there are a lot of LE officers who'd say the same thing.

DrProudBlackMan
DrProudBlackMan

@class80olddog  Saw it. How does a one on one encounter compare to SIX cops and ONE troubled person with an UNOPENED leatherman.....FTP!

class80olddog
class80olddog

I agree that it is too bad that there are not absolutely effective non-lethal means to render someone helpless.  Tasers have not become the magic solution they were hoped to be.  Neither is pepper spray.  Invent the perfect non-lethal takedown device and you could retire comfortable for life.  I am sure that police would welcome it. 

JKToole
JKToole

@class80olddog Six vest wearing, armed police officers surrounding a shoeless kid, armed with an un-opened leatherman, harmless?

They're in the wrong line of work.

Ever heard of a baton? 

I cannot believe, a rational person cannot look at the video and come to the conclusion that this was not a situation where lethal force was warranted.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@JKToole @class80olddog  Why don't you focus on the REAL reason he was shot - he refused to obey police commands to drop what he had in his hand.  HE was the culprit, NOT the police.  See my link to the Endless Death of Kyle Dinkheller above - where a policeman chose NOT to shoot a suspect.

methuselahschild
methuselahschild

@Starik @class80olddog @JKToole i can do you one better starik, in my opinion.. the kid should have been living at home attending a local university  ... where his parents could monitor him and his medications.. not in a situation where there is high stress levels ..also if GT is '

In loco parentis" then they should be checking on him and be aware of his history and maybe had him monitored

class80olddog
class80olddog

His mother says "I don't think this is "Suicide by Cop""  He advances on police with guns drawn while saying "Shoot Me" - after being told numerous times to drop what is in his hand.  What better evidence of suicide by cop do you need?

Lydia Giordano
Lydia Giordano

The Bible says Thou shalt not kill, not Thou shalt not kill unless you made me frightened. They shouldn't have a gun on campus, no one should have a gun on campus, but why not shoot a person in the leg first especially if all they have is a knife. Better police training or make them stay away from young people.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Depends on the Bible - my Bible says "You shall not commit murder".

class80olddog
class80olddog

The 911 call said there was a person with a knife and a gun.

Elisa Maria Chiara
Elisa Maria Chiara

SOP's spell out that the required action is to shoot at the center of mass (torso). Shooting at a moving target, even more so one that doesn't move in a predictable direction isn't THAT easy. The big issue here is the need to review GATECH's Police procedures to include tasers and their use in the future.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

I am glad to see there is some actual debate and discussion going on.  When I saw the post, I feared there would be an uproar about the pronouns.

Babycat
Babycat

At least this did not turn out like that day at Virginia Tech (where my child was on campus at the time) and instead of doing harm to himself he could have been another "Cho".

JKToole
JKToole

@Babycat Really? He could have been the Incredible Hulk too, but he wasn't.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@JKToole @Babycat  No, he couldn't, because there is not a real Incredible Hulk.  Unfortunately, there are far too many potential "Cho"s out there. 

Babycat
Babycat

This was a no win situation from the start and perhaps GA Tech was not the appropriate school for someone having issues to begin with.  A smaller school with much less social and class pressure, given his past, might have been much better for him.  Sometimes the parents' can't see past the prestige of the child attending a certain school to see that it was not working.  He/she was an activist, suicidal and having identity issues not to mention being a fourth year student with all the pressures of graduation and the real world ahead.  My heart goes out to the police officer, the parents and the school but this child made a decision and I believe this is a case of suicide by cop.

BaronDeKalb
BaronDeKalb

@Babycat Excellent example of blame the victim / the parents etc. — but never the (police + GT) institutions that are behind the bullet. It is sad so many people need that crutch because well, they can't handle the truth. Police are always on the front line to confront the mentally ill of society. They continually prove, as in this case, that too many of them are untrained or unsuited for that job. 

Q1225
Q1225

@Babycat The kid earned a full scholarship, received all A's except for two B's, and was taking graduate-level engineering courses.  It sounds like academic rigor was the least of his concerns. 

Babycat
Babycat

@BaronDeKalb @Babycat Given what we know now, it shows that he wanted to go out in a blaze of glory and create as much turmoil as he could in the process.  The only victim here is the police officer who pulled the trigger.