Tensions mounted in a protest at Georgia Tech on Monday after a leader of Pride Alliance was fatally shot by police on Saturday night. During a vigil on the campus, protesters set a police car on fire. Two officers received minor injuries, and three people were arrested. The parents of Scout Schultz, the young man killed in the police shooting, appeared after the incident with their attorney and questioned the fatal shooting as well as called for calm among many angry people.
“We ask that those who wish to protest Scout’s death do so peacefully. Answering violence with violence is not the answer. Our goal is to work diligently to make positive change at Georgia Tech in an effort to ensure a safer campus for all students,” they said. “This is how we will truly honor Scout’s life and legacy.”
The Monday vigil began peacefully as students gathered to remember Scout Schultz, a 21-year-old engineering student from Lilburn, Ga. But about 50 students left the vigil and marched toward campus police headquarters. At 9:28 pm, Georgia Tech tweeted that students should “shelter in place” due to the “violent protests on campus.” Officers from the Atlanta Police and nearby Georgia State University were called into to assist Georgia Tech police.
Chad Miller was right behind the police vehicle when it erupted into flames. “All I heard was metal hitting metal,” Miller said. “I’m guessing it was fireworks; there were some pretty powerful ones. I was marching with them until they got in front of the police station and then all hell broke loose.”
Police have reported that Shultz was shot after a confrontation with Georgia Tech campus police Saturday night. They say he had a knife and refused commands to stop. But Chris Stewart, a lawyer for the family, said Schultz was carrying a small utility tool, and the blade wasn’t out.
Schultz’s parents have questioned why police didn’t use non-lethal force. “Why did you have to shoot?” Scout’s father, Bill Schultz asked at a news conference Monday. “That’s the only question that matters right now.”
Scout Schultz was the head of Georgia Pride Alliance. The group advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual individuals.
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Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution