ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- The family of a Georgia Tech student who was shot and killed by a campus police officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Georgia Tech, The Board of Regents, and officer Tyler Beck.
Scott “Scout” Schultz was an engineering student at Georgia Tech with a 3.9 GPA. In September of 2017, the student’s family says Schultz was having a mental breakdown, holding a multi-tool, telling the campus police to shoot him.
The incident was captured on campus surveillance video.
Several campus officers surrounded Schultz in the West Village portion of the campus, trying to negotiate with him. Officers can be heard on the surveillance video asking the student to drop the knife. Beck fires his gun shooting Schultz in the heart, killing him.
The filing says Beck was an “untrained Georgia Tech police officer.” The family and their attorneys say Georgia Tech failed to “properly accommodate students having a mental health type of medical crisis and develop adequate policies, including adequate officer training, for taking students who are in a mental health/medical crisis into custody.”
Bill Schultz says his son was a special person. He encouraged him to attend Georgia Tech. The grieving father spoke at a press conference Thursday announcing the filing of the wrongful death lawsuit in U.S. District Court of Georgia, Atlanta Division.
“No parent likes to lose a kid,” Schultz said. “Tyler Beck killed my kid, and that's the bottom line,” he went on.
Attorney L. Chris Stewart used a laser pointer to show the officer’s actions on the surveillance images.
“Scout was walking around, as we don’t deny, telling the officers to shoot,” Stewart said. “But, this is an example of four other outstanding officers who refused to do that because of their training and their understanding of mental illness,” he said adding that the other officers backed away and exercised de-escalation tactics.
“Officer Beck did not have that training,” Stewart said. “Officer Beck nor any of the officers were provided with tasers by Georgia Tech,” he added.
The school has since added funding and resources to crisis training and mental health training for its officers. They’ve also equipped officers with tasers, Stewart mentioned. Still, he argued that it should not have taken a death to make those changes.
The Schultz family is asking the Fulton County District Attorney to pursue charges against Beck. A spokesperson for the DA’s office told CBS46 the matter is still under investigation.
“I would prefer to see Tyler Beck in jail,” Bill Schultz said. “I don't think the Tyler Beck should be on a campus police force,” he added.
Georgia Tech officials say Beck was placed on administrative leave for six months after the shooting, but has been on active duty since April of last year. He is on the police force's administrative team, which does not patrol the campus.