Anger over the police shooting of a Pride Alliance leader at Georgia Tech turned violent Monday night, as protesters set a campus police car ablaze following a candlelight vigil.
Two police officers received minor injuries, Tech spokesman Lance Wallace said. One was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, treated and released, he said.
Three people were arrested and were identified by Tech authorities as Vincent Castillenti, Jacob Wilson, and Cassandra Monden. It was not immediately clear if they were students at the university.
Wilson was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault against a police officer, and three misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass. Arrest warrants said Wilson hit an officer in the head with a can of spray paint, causing a concussion, and struck another in the face. Warrants also said Wilson spray painted three different sites near the protest with anti-cop sentiments.
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Monden — who was identified as Andrew Xavier Monden by the Fulton County Sheriff’s office — was charged with a felony count of interference with government property, and inciting to rioting, which is a misdemeanor. Arrest warrants said Monden attempted to kick in a front windshield of a police car.
Castillenti, 31, was charged with felonies including aggravated assault on an officer, along with willful obstruction of an officer by use of threats or violence. Arrest warrants said Castillenti hit an officer in the head with a hammer while the officer was arresting another protester, and sprayed a different officer with pepper spray when the officer was attempting to arrest him.
The three are expected in court for first appearance hearings Wednesday morning.
The parents of Scout Schultz — who had appeared earlier in the day with their attorney to question the deadly shooting — released a statement Monday night calling for calm.
“We ask that those who wish to protest Scout's death do so peacefully. 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,” they said.
“This is how we will truly honor Scout's life and legacy.”
Students planned to set up tables across campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday “for ... campus members to write letters and on posters to show support for Scout's family and friends (as tonights vigil was interrupted) as well as GTPD,” according to a Facebook post.
The evening began with a peaceful vigil to remember Scout Schultz, a 21-year-old engineering student from Lilburn. Schultz was gunned down by campus police late Saturday night. The GBI is investigating.
But about 50 students left the vigil and began to march toward the Tech police headquarters at Hemphill Avenue and Ferst Drive.
At 9:28 p.m., Georgia Tech tweeted that students should “shelter in place” due to “violent protests on campus.” Officers from the Atlanta Police and nearby Georgia State University were called in to to assist Georgia Tech police.
Chad Miller, a Tech alumnus taking part in the march, said he thought tear gas had been deployed. Miller told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he was right behind the police car when it erupted into flames.
“All I heard was metal hitting metal,” Miller said. “I’m guessing it was fireworks, there were some pretty powerful ones.”
“I was marching with them until they got in front of the police station and then all hell broke loose.”
Miller said he saw one man who may have been a police officer throwing up and coughing.
Schultz was shot and killed after a confrontation with Georgia Tech campus police late Saturday night. Police have said Schultz had a knife and refused commands to stop.
But Chris Stewart, a lawyer for the family, said Schultz was carrying a small utility tool and the blade wasn’t out.
Schultz’s parents have questioned why police didn’t use non-lethal force.
The GBI said Monday Schultz had left behind three suicide notes and called 911.
“Why did you have to shoot?” Scout’s father, Bill Schultz asked at a news conference Monday. “That’s the only question that matters right now.”
Schultz was the head of the Georgia Pride Alliance, which had helped organize Monday night’s vigil. The group advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual individuals.