Campus police shoots unarmed student dead

JAMES NYE | Outcry is growing over the fatal shooting of a naked University of Alabama student by a campus police officer early on Saturday morning.

Gil Collar, 18, reportedly knocked on the window of the campus police station and charged at an officer who came out to investigate. The officer shot him dead.

It has also emerged that the shooting was caught on video.

On the Facebook page for the Vanguard, the school’s student newspaper, Collar’s friends and classmates expressed shock and confusion that the officer felt the need to use deadly force on a young man they described as ‘sweet’ and ‘easy going.’

‘Gil went to my high school’ wrote Melissa Mims, who said she was a good friend of Collar’s sister Elisabeth and the rest of his family. ‘Gil was the kind of guy who could put a smile on anyone’s face, he never had any enemies and a lot of students and younger kids looked up to him. He really was a great guy and had very many friends.’

Parker Mozingo only met Collar once but he made a lasting impression.

‘He was a sweet guy who did not deserve this. He made one stupid decision last night but the officer that shot him, in my opinion, made a way worse mistake,’ she wrote.

‘Gil was unarmed, the officer had no right or reason to pull a gun on him. The officer should have thought about what he was doing, I hope that the people see the officer was wrong for what he did.’ 

Friend Lucas Self described Collar as an easy going person, small enough deadly force should not have been required.

‘Gil made a mistake but it is still an officers duty to resolve a situation as peacefully as he can’ Self wrote. ‘I think this situation was handled wrong by the officer but they arnt going to let any one believe that.’

She says she’s shocked over his killing by an officer outside the university police department early Saturday.

Another friend of Collar, Tyler Kendrick, says the officer shouldn’t have drawn his weapon on an unarmed person.

School officials say the student ignored repeated commands to stop. The school says Collar was nude and acting erratically when he confronted the officer.

The officer is on paid leave, and an autopsy will determine if drugs or alcohol were involved.

Authorities said that the officer attempted to retreat several times in an attempt to defuse the situation but that the officer was left with no choice but to shoot when Collar made one final charge.

Collar, who had only recently enrolled at the University of South Alabama was shot at 1.30 a.m. on Saturday moening outside the USA Police Department on Stadium Drive .

Keith Ayers, a university spokesman, spoke to the media to announced the student’s identity, but would not speculate as yet whether the student was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

‘We can’t comment beyond the statement,’ said Ayers after he read a prepared statement during a news conference this afternoon on the campus.

Ayers said that the officer shot Collar after the teenager rushed the officer in a threatening manner and ignored his commands to stop.

‘The individual fell to the ground, but he got up once more and continued to challenge the officer further before collapsing and expiring,’ said Ayers.

Police said at around 1:30 a.m., a ‘muscular, nude man,’ was shot dead on the University of South Alabama campus.

According to a University of South Alabama press release: ‘University of South Alabama Police report that an officer shot and killed an individual at approximately 1:30 a.m., Oct. 6, after the man attacked the officer just outside the police department on Stadium Drive The deceased has been identified as a USA student.’

The former high school wrestler’s coach could hardly speak when interviewed by his hometown newspaper The Wetumpka Herald this morning.

‘I remember the first time he walked into the wrestling room,’ said Jeff Glass.

‘He was such a natural. He was the only wrestler I coached who wrestled varsity for six years. That takes more heart than I can tell you. We began our tenure in Wetumpka wrestling at the same time. He was a physical, spiritual and mental warrior. And I love him like my own.’ 

According to USA’s public relations office: ‘Immediately after the incident, the USA Police Department contacted the District Attorney’s Office to request an external investigation. 

‘Mobile County Sheriff’s Department will assist. The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of internal and external reviews.’