Scout Schultz: LGBT activist shot dead by police at Georgia university

President of Pride Alliance, 21, killed in front of dorm residents after refusing to drop knife in unexplained stand-off

Avi Selk
Monday 18 September 2017 07:25 BST
Scout Schultz
Scout Schultz (The Washington Post)

Georgia Tech police shot and killed the president of the Pride Alliance student group on Saturday night in full view of dorm residents.

Police encountered Scout Schultz, a 21-year-old computer engineering student who identified as neither male nor female, in a parking lot outside the dorms after someone called 911 to report “a person with a knife and a gun,” according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Schultz didn't appear to be holding a gun in video recorded from a window above the parking lot, as the campus was placed on lockdown shortly before midnight. But the student was armed with a knife, the bureau wrote in a statement - and video shows officers repeatedly telling Schultz to drop the weapon as the student advances.

“Come on man, let's drop the knife,” an officer with his gun drawn says in the graphic video. But Schultz walks toward him.

“Shoot me!”

The officer keeps backing up, moving behind a parking barricade and imploring again: “Nobody wants to hurt you, man.”

At least four officers had surrounded Schultz by then, according to WSB-TV. In the dorm-window video, one of the officers called out to the student, who consequently turned away from the barricade and began to move toward the new voice.

“What are we doing here?” the officer asked. No reply.

“Do not move!”

“Drop it!” someone says finally, as Schultz takes three more steps toward an officer, and then comes the report of a gunshot and many screams.

Schultz was taken to an Atlanta hospital early on Sunday and died there, according to the bureau, which has released few other details as it investigates the shooting. About 700 people have been shot and killed by police in the United States this year.

Georgia Tech didn't immediately respond to a Washington Post request for comment.

“Scout's sudden and tragic death today has been devastating news for the Schultz family, classmates,” the university's dean of students, John Stein, wrote in a statement obtained by NBC News. “For members of the community who knew Scout personally, the shock and grief are particularly acute.”

“They seemed fine. Friends said they seemed fine,” Lynne Schultz told the New York Daily News, using the pronoun “they” for her child, as the student asked people to do.

Speaking from the family's home town in Lilburn, Georgia, she called Schultz a “nonconformist and very, very bright.”

In a statement, Pride Alliance called its late president the “driving force” behind the group for the past two years.

“They pushed us to do more events and a larger variety events, and we would not be the organisation we are known as without their constant hard work and dedication,” the statement reads.

“We love you Scout and we will continue to push for change.”

Schultz's biography on the group's website didn't dwell much on gender politics, or reveal anything about whatever brought them face to face with police on Saturday night.

“I'm bisexual, nonbinary, and intersex,” Schultz wrote. “When I'm not running Pride or doing classwork I mostly play D&D and try to be politically active.”

A memorial planned for Monday had about 150 RSVPs by Sunday afternoon.

The Washington Post

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