A peaceful vigil for LGBT student leader Scout Shultz careened into a violent protest Monday night at the Georgia Tech campus.
Students came together late Monday evening to hold a memorial service for fellow student Scout Schultz, who was killed by Georgia Tech police after an incident Saturday. The memorial ended peacefully, and about 50 students marched toward the Georgia Tech police headquarters shortly after, according to officials.
At some point, the march turned violent. At about 9:30 p.m., Georgia Tech officials told students to seek shelter until further notice.
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Photos from the scene show a Georgia Tech police car ablaze and a mass of people marching, holding a banner that says “Defend LGBT+, End GTPD.” The banner includes a logo commonly used by anarchist protesters. It is unclear how many of the protesters were students at Georgia Tech.
One student told the AJC that he was marching with a group of students when the car suddenly burst into flames, possibly from a strong firework thrown towards the car. “All hell broke loose,” he said.
Two police officers received minor injuries, a Georgia Tech spokesperson told the AJC. Three protesters were arrested and charged with inciting a riot and battery of an officer.
Schultz’s family released a statement condemning the violence.
“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,” said Chris Stewart, a lawyer for the family.
Scout Schultz, a 21-year-old senior at Georgia Tech who was the leader of Pride Alliance, was killed by Georgia Tech police Saturday night. The incident was captured on video.
Schultz placed a call to the police department and reported a suspicious person on campus — proceeding to describe himself, the GBI said. He told officers the “suspicious male” had a knife and possibly a gun.
Police surrounded Schultz and tried to get him to drop the knife, while Schultz shouted “Shoot me!” at officers and advanced towards them. One officer eventually shot Schultz in the heart, and he died at Grady Memorial Hospital. A small multitool was found on the scene. Police found three suicide notes in Schultz’s dorm room.
The GBI is investigating the shooting, and Schultz’s family is pursuing legal action.
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE