ATLANTA – Supervisors for the Georgia Tech police officer who fatally shot a student thought the officer showed promise, according to personnel records released Monday.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said Officer Tyler Beck fatally shot 21-year-old Scout Schultz on Sept. 16. Beck was among the officers who responded after Schultz called 911 to report an armed suspicious person matching his description, investigators have said.
Beck is on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Schultz’s parents, has said Schultz appeared to have been experiencing a mental breakdown. Stewart called the shooting an overreaction, arguing non-lethal force could have been used.
A protest following a vigil for Schultz on Sept. 18 turned violent, with a police vehicle burned and two officers suffering minor injuries. Three people were arrested and face charges.
The university released Beck’s personnel records in response to an open-records request.
Beck was hired as a public safety officer in July 2015. In an evaluation covering a period from August 2015 to January 2016, a supervisor wrote that Beck had “done an outstanding job learning what it takes to be in the Public safety field” and would likely continue to do well as he worked his way up to become a police officer with the department.
Beck began training to become a certified officer in March 2016 and completed that training and took his oath of office in May 2016, the records show.
In a review marking the end of a probationary period from May 21, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2016, a supervisor wrote that Beck had worked hard to meet expectations and had shown good initiative. The review says Beck’s strengths were his good listening and communication skills, while his weaknesses were “that he is young and is still learning laws, policies, and criminal procedures.”
The month and day of Beck’s date of birth are redacted in the personnel file, but it shows he was born in 1992.
A supervisor wrote in an evaluation covering all of 2016 that Beck was “performing very well in his first year of law enforcement.”
He received a commendation last month after a supervisor said Beck’s quick response, attention to detail and dedication to his job led to the arrest of a burglary suspect in a walk-in freezer in a university dining hall.
This story has been corrected to reflect that Beck was hired in July 2015, not August 2015.