LGBT student shot, killed by campus police at Georgia Tech

Scout Schultz, the 21-year-old president of the Pride Alliance at Georgia Tech, was shot and killed by campus police late Saturday after officers found the student with a closed knife outside a dorm.

Campus police responded to a report of a person with a knife about 11:17 p.m. on Saturday. Officers found Schultz in a residential area on the West Campus in the 500 block of 8th Street in Midtown. Officers attempted to speak with Schultz, who did not comply with their commands, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The GBI is investigating the shooting.

Preliminary information indicates that GTPD received a 911 call of a person with a knife and a gun at approximately 11:17 p.m. on Saturday, September 16, 2017.  Officers arrived and made contact with Shultz who was armed with a knife.  Officers provided multiple verbal commands and attempted to speak with Shultz who was not cooperative and would not comply with the officers’ commands.  Shultz continued to advance on the officers with the knife.  Subsequently, one officer fired striking Shultz.  Shultz was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he died.  The GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in Decatur will conduct the autopsy.    

Schultz was shot once in the heart and died about 30 minutes later at Grady Memorial Hospital, according to the AJC.

The GBI will turn over its investigation to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office for review.

The fourth-year computer engineering major had a minor in biomedical engineering. They planned to work with medical devices after Tech. Schultz is from Lilburn and described themselves as “bisexual, nonbinary and intersex.”

Schultz was president of the Pride Alliance at Georgia Tech. On Sunday, the organization called Schultz a “driving force” behind the group.

Dear Pride Alliance members,

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.

With love,
Pride Alliance

The Georgia Tech Progressive Student Alliance called Schultz an inspiration. In a statement posted Sunday, the alliance said it is hosting a memorial service along with the Pride Alliance at 8 p.m. on Monday at the Georgia Tech Campanile.

We are distraught over the loss of Scout Schultz. They were an incredible, inspirational member of our community and a constant fighter for human rights. Please join us in celebrating and honoring their life and the contributions they made to campus and the greater Atlanta community.

Georgia Tech called the incident a “tragic death.”

The Georgia Tech community was notified Sunday morning of the tragic death of Scott Schultz, fourth year computer engineering student from Lilburn, Georgia. Schultz died on Sunday, Sept. 17 as a result of an incident in the West Campus residential community. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident and reviewing the circumstances around the death.

Schultz’s mom, Lynne, described Scout as a brilliant student who was active in political causes. Schultz also suffered from several medical issues, including depression, and attempted suicide two years ago, Lynne Schultz told the AJC.

Scout identified as non-binary, meaning neither male nor female, Lynne Schultz said. The accepted pronoun for non-binary individuals is “they.” 

Most of Scout’s stress was related to school, the student’s mother said.

“Scout was always a perfectionist,” Lynne Schultz said. “They always worried he was going to fail a test but got all A’s and only two B’s at Tech.”

“(Scout) had a lot of empathy for people, active in a lot of causes. And very smart. Scary smart, really.” 

Videos of the shooting show Schultz and officers yelling at one another, according to the AJC.

Schultz yells at police to shoot and officers respond, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!" more than a dozen times.

"Nobody wants to hurt you,” an officer can be heard saying. “Drop the knife." 

A multipurpose tool found on the ground is believed to be the knife Schultz held. The tool did not show an extended blade.

The shooting prompted Lynne Schultz and students at the campus to question why officers didn’t use non-lethal force to subdue Schultz. Officers don’t carry tasers but do have pepper spray, according to the AJC.

“Why didn’t they use some nonlethal force, like pepper spray or Tasers?” Lynne Schultz told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday. 

Chris Stewart, an attorney hired by Schultz’s parents, said officers overreacted, according to the AJC.

“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.”

On Sunday, students gathered where the shooting took place to mourn Schultz.