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Atlanta mayor pleads for patience after Georgia Tech shooting

Mayor Kasim Reed talks with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial board. Kent D. Johnson/AJC file

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called for patience Wednesday as investigators probe the shooting death of a 21-year-old student who was killed in a confrontation with campus police.

The mayor said the city would not “pile on” as Georgia Tech grappled with the aftermath of Scout Schultz’s shooting death on Saturday and a vigil Monday that turned into a violent protest that injured a campus police officer.

“I’m a firm believer that the truth takes time, and I think the leadership of Georgia Tech deserves the time and space to analyze and reform on their own before individuals outside the institution weigh in on it,” Reed said.

He added: “Our police officers make split-section decisions and they’re human, and we need to review this through that lens.”

Authorities say Schultz wrote three suicide notes and then called 911 to report a suspicious person on campus. Four officers found Schultz on campus with a pocket knife and asked the student to drop the pocket knife.

In a video capturing the incident Schultz can be heard responding, “Shoot me!” to an officer’s command to drop the knife. Schultz was shot and killed after ignoring the officer’s commands to stand in place, moving slowly towards the four officers who surrounded the Lilburn native.

Records show the officer had not undergone crisis intervention training, which trains police on how to handle mentally ill suspects. Gov. Nathan Deal said he he’s hopeful more local police officer take the courses, which he said are mandatory for state officers but voluntary for local authorities.

“I hope that more of the local law enforcement officers will take advantage of the training, and I think they will,” he said. “We’ve been in a situation where we had requests we couldn’t accommodate under the old structure – now we can accommodate them.”

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