On the evening of Sept. 17, Scout Shultz, a fourth year engineering student at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, was shot by campus police. Shultz was a native of Lilburn, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Shultz was very active in the LGBT community on campus serving as president of Georgia Tech’s Pride Alliance.
At the time of the shooting, videos showed that Shultz did not cooperate with police direction, apparently yelling “shoot me,” at police. Video also shows police yelling, “come on drop the knife nobody wants to hurt you,” just before another officer fired a round into Shultz. Shultz was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital and eventually died from the shooting wound.
This is audio of Scout Schultz's 911 call to GTPD, made before they were shot and killed.https://t.co/JTkyVU07cp
— Remy Smidt (@remysmidt) September 19, 2017
Campus Police believed shooting Shultz was justified because they apparently were waving a gun and also carrying a knife. Investigators later discovered that Shultz did not have a gun and the Shultz family lawyer also said the switchblade knife Shultz allegedly had was closed.
Shultz’s parents were appalled and saddened by the police’s unnecessary use of lethal force Shultz’s father asked, “why did you have to shoot?” he continued, “that’s the question, I mean that’s the only question, why did you have to kill my son?” Shultz’s mother did “not understand how [police] couldn’t have tasers.” Georgia Tech’s campus police officers only carry pepper spray and firearms. The family’s lawyer mentioned that, “people just breakdown. That doesn’t mean they deserve to die.” The lawyer also said that, “the area was secured. There was no one around at risk,” as he apparently questioned whether Campus Police had sufficient training in mentally ill suspects.
Vigils and protests popped up on campus in the days following Shultz’s death. Georgia Tech issued a statement in which the administration said it was “deeply saddened.” Georgia Tech’s President also confirmed that there would be “opportunities for dialogue” in an email to the campus community.