“I have no idea how it started. I didn't see any students damaging cars. It looked like there were a bunch of non-students there,” said a student.
Campus police at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, fatally shot a student after they called 911 and informed them about a suspicious man, who was possibly holding a knife and a gun.
According to Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Scout Schultz was reportedly outside the dorm when the deadly encounter took place. Family attorney L. Chris Stewart said Schultz was bare foot and “disoriented” in the middle of a “mental breakdown.”
Stewart further accused police officer of overreacting to the circumstances.
“It's tragic that as Scout was battling mental health issues that pushed them to the edge of desperation, their life was taken with a bullet rather than saved with non-lethal force,” he added.
Initially, police reported Shultz was holding a knife and as officers ordered them to drop the knife, the student began coming toward them. That is when the officers took action and shot the 21-year-old.
However, later investigation revealed the victim was carrying a multipurpose tool rather than a knife. The lawyer said police ignored evidence and assumed Schultz was the “knife-wielding man” they were looking for.
“The family now wonders where the narrative came from that Scout was wielding a knife and was a danger to the officers. Scout was holding a closed multipurpose tool, with their arms to their side and simply walking, struggling for their life. Their cry for help was met with a bullet,” added Stewart.
Following the incident, a peaceful vigil was organized in memory of the slain student. However, the vigil turned turned destructive after protestors marched to the Georgia Tech Police Department, causing damage to a police vehicle.
According to Lance Wallace, the university's director of media relations, police arrested three people and charged them with inciting a riot and battery of an officer.
However, witnesses described the scene differently.
“I have no idea how it started. I didn't see any students damaging cars. It looked like there were a bunch of non-students there,” said Sebastian Gonzales, who was attending the vigil.
Schultz was president of the school's Pride Alliance, a student organization for LGBTQ students and allies.
“We are all deeply saddened by what has occurred. 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,” the group said in a statement.
This is not the first such incident when a person called 911 for help but ended up being killed by the cops.
In July, a Minneapolis police officer fatally shot a woman after she called the emergency number. The officer who responded to her call were wearing body cameras but didn't turn them on.
According to sources, a squad car pulled into the neighborhood and shot Justine Damond "in her pajamas." She approached the driver's side door and started talking to the driver. However, the second officer in the passenger seat "pulled his gun and shot Damond through the driver’s side door."