A Georgia Tech University student was shot and killed by police on campus September 16.
Police say Scout Schultz, 21, of Lilburn, was wielding a knife and was ordered to drop it. Schultz failed to comply and was heard screaming for police to shoot, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
Georgia Tech Vice Preisdent of Student Life and the Dean of Students John M. Stein sent a letter to students confirming that Schultz was the person shot.
I am deeply saddened to inform the Georgia Tech community of the loss of fourth year computer engineering student Scout Schultz of Lilburn, Georgia. Scout’s sudden and tragic death today has been devastating news for the Schultz family, classmates, and for members of the community who knew Scout personally, the shock and grief are particularly acute.
We are committed to providing resources for the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of our entire campus community. Please remember that Georgia Tech offers multiple services and resources in support of the community during this time of loss and grief.
Schultz was a fourth-year engineering student and was active within the LBGTQ community on campus.
Here’s what you need to know about Schultz and the incident:
1. Officers Received a Call Saying a Person Was Armed With a Knife & a Gun
The incident took place at around 11:17 p.m. Eastern on September 17 in the West Campus residential community, a school spokesperson said.
The Georgia Tech Police Department said it received an emergency call saying that a person with a knife and a gun was near campus. A large number of officers responded to the scene and made contact with Schultz, who was barefooted and armed with what was believed to be a knife.
Officers pleaded with Schultz to drop the knife, but shot the student. Schultz died at Grady Memorial Hospital a short time later.
Schultz “was not cooperative and would not comply with the officers’ commands,” the police department wrote in a press release. “Shultz continued to advance on the officers with the knife. Subsequently, one officer fired striking Shultz.”
As the ordeal unfolded, Georgia Tech sent out alerts to the community urging people to take shelter in a secure location and “lock all doors and windows.”
About 15 minutes after tweeting the alert, the all clear was given once Schultz was shot.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident and the circumstances surrounding Schultz’s death. The GBI Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct the autopsy.
2. Video Posted to Social Media Shows the Chaotic Incident
Note: The above video contains graphic content some may find disturbing.
Students in nearby residences around the West Campus area captured video of the ordeal. In one video, Schultz can be seen standing near a parking garage as police have their guns out. Officers can be heard saying something to Schultz, who starts moving toward officers.
At least one shot is heard as Schultz hits the ground and starts screaming.
According to the New York Daily News, in one video Schultz can be heard screaming at officers: “Shoot me” about one minute before the officers fired.
“Nobody wants to hurt you,” another officer can be heard saying in another video recorded by a witness.
Schultz was the president of the Pride Alliance on the Georgia Tech campus.
According a profile on the Alliance’s website, Schultz lived around the United States growing up, but primarily in Lilburn. The student had a minor in Biomedical Engineering and intended to work on medical devices.
“I’m bisexual, nonbinary, and intersex,” Schultz’s profile says. “When I’m not running Pride or doing classwork I mostly play D&D and try to be politically active.”
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.
4. Classmates & Friends Posted Emotional Tributes to Schultz
Once Schultz was identified as the person shot and killed, friends, colleagues and classmates remembered the student.
“I was friends with them in high school,” a user wrote on Georgia Tech’s subreddit. “We played dungeons and dragons together. They just messaged me a few days ago about some new cards for magic the gathering, and I never got around to responding. And now I never will. You didn’t deserve this Scout. I’m so sorry. My thoughts to you, your friends, family, and to the community you left behind.”
“Damn, I had two early ECE classes with them. Would have never thought this would have happened,” another Reddit user wrote.
5. A Vigil Will Be Held for Schultz
As the campus community comes to terms with the loss of Schultz, school officials have made access to counseling available.
The school said that the Georgia Tech Counseling Center was available for students September 17 from noon until 2 p.m., and walk-ins were welcome. The counseling center is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and after-hours counseling is available at 404-894-2575.
“It is our hope that anyone who needs these services will be able to take full advantage of them,” Stein wrote in his statement. “We have communicated directly and offered our support and deepest sympathies to Scout’s family. At times like these, we are reminded of the importance of coming together in support, understanding, and care for one another.”
Students also planned a vigil to be held in Schultz’s name at 8 p.m. on September 18 at the Georgia Tech Campanile.