ATLANTA — An investigation is underway into theScout Schultz over the weekend.
In a cellphone video, five Georgia Tech police officers, their guns drawn, can be seen surrounding a barefoot suspect they believed was carrying a gun and a knife.
A female officer can be heard yelling, “Come on, let’s drop it!” and a male officer saying, “Drop it.”
Schultz then responds by saying, “Shoot me,” and the male officer replying, “No, drop the knife.”
Schultz, 21, appeared disoriented — and possibly suicidal.
“No one wants to hurt you man, drop the knife,” the male officer was heard saying in the video.
When Schultz stepped toward police, one of them fired a single fatal shot.
Schultz, a computer engineering student with a 3.9 GPA, was a leader in Georgia Tech’s LGBTQ community. Two years ago, Schultz self-identified as.
Bill Schultz, Scout’s father, admits his child was fighting mental illness.
“He was kind of the soul of our family,” Bill told CBS News. “His loss kinda ripped the heart out of our family.”
Bill explained that Schultz did have some issues two years ago after coming out as a non-binary gender and that Schultz attempted suicide once.
State investigators later confirmed Schultz made the 911 call that instigated the deadly encounter. Schultz also left behind three suicide notes.
But the Schultz family — and their lawyer Chris Stewart — say police should have subdued the student, not killed him.
“He was not running at the officers or threatening them with a knife. He had a multipurpose tool,” Stewart said.
Schultz held a multipurpose tool that had a knife folded within and Schultz had no gun.
When asked if Schultz’s death was preventable, Bill called out the police’s use of lethal force by saying, “Why shoot?”
“It was definitely preventable if the police had chosen to use non-lethal force,” Bill said. “But if the only thing you give your officers is a pistol then when you think it is time to bring the incident to a close the only thing that you can do is shoot.”