Friend of slain Georgia Tech student speaks out

Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz, 21, was shot and killed on Saturday by campus police. It was the tragic ending to a situation that reportedly began when Schultz called 911 to report that a suspicious individual — who turned out to be Schultz — was lurking around with a knife. The fourth-year student — who identified as transgender, preferred to be called by the pronouns “they” and “them,” was intersex (referring to a variety of conditions in which a person is born with sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male), and served as the president of the campus Pride Alliance — had apparently attempted suicide in the past and saw this as a new route to ending their life. Several suicide notes were found in the student’s dorm room. But Schultz’s parents have pleaded for answers as to why the shot was ever fired, and a campus vigil held in the student’s honor on Monday turned chaotic, when angry students protested the shooting and several were arrested. In an attempt to learn more about what went wrong in the death of Schultz, Yahoo Lifestyle spoke with Kirby Jackson, 23, of Decatur — a Georgia Tech psychology major, currently on a break from school for personal issues, who was Schultz’s friend. This is her story, as told to Beth Greenfield.

I saw Scout just the week before [the shooting] and everything seemed fine. We played board games, we hung out, we laughed, and everything seemed okay.

There are only so many queer people on campus and we made friends, mostly through mutual friends and similar interests — Dungeons & Dragons, and gaming, activism, political beliefs. We’re both trans, and we’re both pansexual [attracted to all sexes and genders]. So we connected in those ways.

Scout was incredibly ardent and well educated and knew that things could be and should be a certain way, which was really great for talking activism. Scout was always pushing us to be better and to be the best we could be, just in everything. Scout listened too — sometimes argued, but you know how some people argue but they don’t really listen? Scout could listen while still comprehending and understanding, or trying to, at least.

I know Scout had attempted suicide in the past. I’ve attempted in the past as well, so we’d sometimes talk a little about it, but we never had a real heart-to-heart. We were friends — we were more than acquaintances — but not best-best friends.

From having talked a lot with a closer…

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