MELBOURNE, Fla. — A Clayton County teen who was a student at the Florida Institute of Technology was shot and killed on campus by police.
Melbourne Police said 18-year-old Alhaji Sow, who is from Riverdale, was reportedly in armed with a knife and assaulting students around 11 p.m. Friday night. Witnesses said he went in to a residential building on campus.
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Melbourne Police and Florida Tech security officers confronted Sow, who police said had an edged weapon. During the confrontation, police said Sow lunged at an officer, which led to a Melbourne police officer and a security officer shooting at him.
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Officers attempted life-saving measures, but Sow died at the scene.
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One Melbourne officer was also injured in the confrontation. He was not hospitalized. His identity has not been released.
Students were asked to shelter in place during the confrontation. University officials asked students to avoid the residence quad area.
Officials at Florida Tech said Sow was a sophomore studying aeronautical science. He worked as a tutor at the university at attended Georgia Military College and North Clayton High School before going to Florida Tech, according to a LinkedIn profile.
Florida Tech is a private research university in Melbourne, which is about an hour southeast of Orlando.
The shooting comes days after the family of a Georgia Tech student killed by campus police reached a $1 million settlement. Scout Schultz was shot and killed on Sept. 16, 2017.
Police said Schultz had a knife. But the family said Schultz was having a mental breakdown and was holding a multipurpose tool that wasn’t related to the shooting. The Schultz family’s attorney, Chris Stewart, said most of the officers backed off, but one fired at Schultz.
“Most of the officers backed away continued to try to deescalate, and one of the officers did not and fired a fatal shot, which we didn’t think was justified,” Stewart said.
GBI identified the officer as Tyler Beck. According to his record, Beck did not have crisis intervention training.
In addition to the financial compensation, Schultz’s parents and attorneys demanded other “substantive” changes to the policing process at The Georgia Institute of Technology. The university subsequently changed numerous policies regarding both equipment and training.
After Schultz’s death, Georgia Tech issued tasers to all sworn officers and departmental standards now require all officers to complete the 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team training. Nearly all officers are now CIT trained in dealing with mental health emergencies.
“We are glad that Georgia Tech now requires all of their officers to have it and after this incident all of their officers got that training,” Stewart said. “They also gave them tasers, which they didn’t have before, as a non-lethal alternative.”
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