Officer who shot Georgia Tech student had been on job 16 months

ATLANTA — The officer who fatally shot a Georgia Tech student had been with the campus police department for about 16 months, according to state records.

 

Officer Tyler Beck shot and killed Scout Schultz, 21, Saturday night after the fourth-year student called 911 to report an armed and possibly intoxicated suspicious person, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

Beck is on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation, Georgia Tech said on its website.

Three people face charges after violent clashes with campus police Monday night after a vigil for Schulz.

During a march to the campus police department after the vigil, a police vehicle was burned and two officers suffered minor injuries, with one taken to a hospital for treatment and later released.

Georgia Tech president G.P. “Bud” Peterson said Tuesday that he believes the problems were caused by “outside agitators.” Police haven’t said whether the three people arrested are students.

Beck became an officer with the campus police department on May 21, 2016, according to records from the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, or POST, which certifies law enforcement officers in Georgia. Georgia Tech has refused to release any personnel records for Beck.

In social media posts on March 7, 2016, the department said Beck was about to start about 11 weeks of training in the police academy. The posts say Beck had joined the department the previous summer as a public safety officer, which the posts tout as a good way to start a law enforcement career.

The POST records show Beck completed 492 hours of training in 2016 and 64 hours of training so far this year. But it does not appear from the records that any of the training courses focused specifically on dealing with people with mental health problems.

The GBI has said Beck and other officers were responding to a 911 call about 11:17 p.m. Saturday when Beck shot Schultz as the student advanced on officers with a knife and refused commands to put it down. Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Schultz’s parents, said Monday that the GBI confirmed to him that Schultz was holding a multipurpose tool and that the knife blade was not out.

Investigators recovered a multi-purpose tool at the scene but didn’t find any guns, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said

Stewart said he plans to sue over the shooting.

Schultz was the one who called 911, and three suicide notes were found in his dorm room, Miles said Monday.

In audio of the 911 call released Tuesday, Schultz calmly tells the dispatcher that someone “skulking around outside” has a knife in his hand and might have a gun on his hip and “looks like he might be drunk or something.” Schultz says the white male has long blond hair and is wearing a white T-shirt and jeans, a physical description that matched Schultz.

Lynne Schultz told the Journal-Constitution over the weekend that her oldest child had struggled with depression and had attempted suicide two years ago.

After that, Scout Schultz went through counseling, William Schultz said. Scout Schultz spent this past summer at home and there were no obvious problems when school resumed last month, the elder Schultz said.

 

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