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Violence Erupts After Vigil For Slain Student-Activist in Georgia

A Georgia Tech police cruiser was set aflame and two officers were injured in the protest. Three people were charged with inciting a riot and battery.
Image: Police Car On Fire
Police car on fire at Georgia Tech on Sept 18, 2017.Courtesy dyoo31 / Instagram

A protest at Georgia Tech over the police killing of an LGBTQ activist turned violent Monday, with a university police cruiser being set aflame and officials warning students to seek shelter.

Two officers were injured and three people were charged with inciting a riot and battery on a police officer, a university spokesman, Lance Wallace, said.

Wallace identified those arrested in a statement Tuesday as Vincent Castillenti, Jacob Wilson and Cassandra Monden. Wallace did not say if they were students.

One of the unidentified officers was taken to a hospital with minor injuries and was later released, Wallace added.

The protest of roughly 50 people occurred after a memorial vigil for Scout Schultz, 21, who was fatally shot by university police on Saturday night after approaching an officer with a knife, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

"Shoot me," Schultz can be heard yelling in a bystander's video.

Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz.Georgia Tech Pride Alliance

But Schultz's family lawyer, L. Chris Stewart, said Monday that Schultz was carrying only a multipurpose tool and that its "tiny" blade was never exposed.

"What was Scout doing that day?" Stewart said. "Standing there disoriented, having a mental breakdown and was shot from 20 feet away."

The protest began moments after the Monday night vigil ended, NBC affiliate WXIA reported. Video footage showed a chaotic scene, with people screaming and police officers thrusting someone against a cruiser and chasing a woman down a smoke-filled street.

"You killed our friend," someone shouts at one point.

Other video showed a police cruiser engulfed in flames. One student, Jacob Peavy, said he saw people with masks and crowbars fleeing the scene. "The police told us to get away in case the car exploded," he said.

On its website, the school warned students to stay inside. Schultz's family, meanwhile, pleaded for calm.

"Answering violence with violence is not the answer," the family said, according to WXIA. "Our goal is to work diligently to make positive change at Georgia Tech in an effort to ensure a safer campus for all students. This is how we will truly honor Scout's life and legacy."