A 21-year-old Georgia Tech student died following a confrontation with campus police late Saturday night, prompting backlash over what critics say was an overreaction by authorities.
The college released a statement identifying the deceased, Scout Schultz, as a “fourth-year computer engineering major from Linburn, Georgia.”
Investigators report the student was carrying a small knife and ignored multiple verbal commands by officers to stop moving toward them. According to WAGA, the confrontation occurred shortly after authorities received a complaint regarding an individual armed with a knife and gun near a dormitory building on campus.
Schultz was reportedly shot when one officer opened fire and died a short time after arriving at Grady Memorial Hospital. No other injuries were reported.
Buzzfeed and other outlets have released apparent video of the encounter, which includes officers pleading with the individual to “drop the knife.” The video contains images that might disturb some viewers.
The individual, purportedly Schultz, at one point shouts, “Shoot me!” at the officers.
“Nobody wants to hurt you, man,” one of the officers responds.
“Schultz died … as a result of an incident in the West Campus residential community,” the Georgia Tech statement continued. “The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident and reviewing the circumstances surrounding the death.”
Dear Pride Alliance members,As you might have heard, last night we lost our President, Scout Schultz. We are all…
The incident prompted Georgia Tech officials to issue a security alert to students and faculty on campus. As officers responded, individuals in the vicinity were instructed to lock their windows and doors. A few minutes before midnight, another message confirmed the threat was no longer active.
Authorities ordered an autopsy of the deceased student and state investigators said they’ll complete a thorough investigation of the incident. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office will then determine whether charges should be pursued against any officers involved.
Schultz has been described as a student-activist and president of Georgia Tech’s Pride Alliance, which posted a memorial on Facebook in the wake of the shooting.
Though the investigation continues, the shooting has renewed calls for police reform as social activist groups continue to clash with authorities during protests across the nation. In a Facebook post Sunday, a user identified by NBC News as Schultz’s father said demonstrators need to remember this incident when preparing to protest.
“He had a tiny knife,” William Schultz wrote. “They didn’t have to shoot him in the heart, but that’s what they did. Antifa activists beware!”
[Feature Photo: Facebook]