Police vehicle set on fire, 3 arrested at Georgia Tech during 'violent protests'

Three were arrested and students were ordered to shelter in place amid protests.

ByABC News
September 19, 2017, 1:52 AM

— -- Three people were arrested and students were ordered to shelter in place at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta on Monday as violent protests erupted in response to the police shooting death of a student who allegedly had a knife, the university.

The protests broke out after a peaceful vigil for Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz, 21, who was fatally shot by police late Saturday night after he called 911 to report an armed and possibly intoxicated suspicious person, authorities said.

A police vehicle was set on fire, two officers suffered minor injuries and one officer was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries during the "violent protests on campus," according to the university.

The university estimated that a about 50 people participated in the protests, including some who marched to the the Georgia Tech Police Department immmdiately after the "peaceful memorial vigil" for Schultz.

At one point, Georgia Tech police ordered students to stay inside and lock their doors, while off-campus students were told to remain off campus.

“Seek shelter in a secure location until further notice. Lock all doors and windows. Take Immediate Action Now,” the Georgia Tech Department said in a tweet at 9:28 p.m. Monday.

Video posted on social media showed a police vehicle on fire and officers pinning people to the ground while witnesses yelled in the background.

Police said they restored order by 11 p.m. Monday and gave students the “all clear” to resume normal activities.

Three people were arrested and charged with inciting a riot and battery of an officer, a university spokesperson said. Police told students to "expect additional patrols throughout campus tonight" and asked them to report "anything suspicious."

In a statement released through attorney Chris Stewart, Schultz's family urged protesters to remain peaceful.

"[W]e ask that those who wish to protest Scout's death do so peacefully. Answering violence with violence is not the answer," the statement said. "Our goal is to work diligently to make positive change at Georgia Tech in an effort to ensure a safer campus for all students."

"Scout's family respects the rights of those who wish to voice opposition to what they feel was an unnecessary use of force, but they ask that it be done respectfully and safely," the statement added.

Earlier on Monday, Stewart described Schultz as a loving child who lost his life simply because the police overreacted.

He said Schultz was barefoot and "disoriented," in the middle of a "mental breakdown" when he was shot.

“Scout should not have been shot,” Stewart told reporters Monday. “There has to be a bigger value put on taking a human life than fear when you are doing your job.”

Stewart also accused the school of handling the situation poorly and pushing a narrative that Schultz was a "knife-wielding" threat despite evidence suggesting otherwise.

Scout Schultz's father, William Schultz, said Schultz had a 3.9 GPA and was scheduled to graduate in December.

Scout Schultz served as president of the Georgia Tech Pride Alliance, and a leading voice within the campus’ LGBTQ community. Scout Schultz identified as nonbinary and intersex and prefers to use the pronouns they, them and their, according to the group's web site.