When Lynne Schultz first heard that her oldest child, Scout, had been shot and killed by a Georgia Tech police officer late Saturday night, she assumed it occurred at a protest rally.
Scout, she says, was politically active in progressive causes. Scout, a brilliant student despite numerous medical issues, suffered from depression and had attempted suicide two years ago, Lynne Schultz said.
According to Georgia Tech police, Scout was seen walking toward police and ignored numerous orders to drop what appeared to be a pocket knife. Photos of the knife taken at the scene reveal the blade was not extended.
Video of the incident showed Scout, 21, shouting “Shoot me!” to the four officers on the scene. A minute later, one of them did.
“Why didn’t they use some nonlethal force, like pepper spray or Tasers?” Lynne Schultz told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday.
That’s among the questions the GBI will be asking as the state agency investigates the shooting.
Police said the shooting was prompted when Scout Schultz failed to comply with their repeated commands to drop the knife.
Chris Stewart, the attorney for the student’s parents, said it appears the officer who shot Scout overreacted.
“I think (Scout) was having a mental breakdown and didn’t know what to do,” said Stewart, who wondered why nonlethal force wasn’t used. “The area was secured. There was no one around at risk.”
Scout Schultz was shot in the heart and was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at Grady Memorial Hospital, Lynne Schultz said.
Two years ago, Scout attempted suicide by hanging, the student’s mother said.
Stewart said he doesn’t believe Scout was attempting “suicide by cop.”
Scout was majoring in computer engineering and was already taking courses for a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, with plans to design biomedical devices for a living.
Scout identified as non-binary, meaning neither male nor female, Lynne Schultz said. The accepted pronoun for non-binary individuals is “they.”
Most of Scout’s stress was related to school, the student’s mother said.
“Scout was always a perfectionist,” Lynne Schultz said. “They always worried he was going to fail a test but got all A’s and only two B’s at Tech.”
“(Scout) had a lot of empathy for people, active in a lot of causes. And very smart. Scary smart, really.”
A more complete story will appear later today on myAJC.com.