Relatives and peers of an Alabama college student say police mishandled the incident that ended in an officer shooting and killing him Saturday.
According to WALA-TV, officials at the University of South Alabama said 18-year-old Gilbert Collar approached the campus police station naked and banged on the door, challenging the unidentified officer who answered to a fight.
“The man repeatedly rushed, and verbally challenged, the officer in a fighting stance,” said university spokesperson Keith Ayers. “The officer, with weapon drawn, ordered the individual to halt. The officer retreated numerous times in an attempt to calm the situation.”
When Collar continued to rush the officer, Ayers said, the officer shot him once in the chest.
Collar fell to the ground, but got up one more time and challenged him again before dying.
Ayers confirmed that the officer’s report made no mention of Collar being armed, and that security cameras around the building recorded the incident, but offered no further details. The officer, he said, has been placed on administrative leave.
The Alabama Media Group reported that the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office and the local District Attorney’s office will investigate of the shooting.
Collar’s mother, Bonnie, told CNN that when she was notified of his death, no one told her he was trying to attack someone before being shot.
“The first thing on my mind is, freshman kids do stupid things,” she said. “Campus police should be equipped to handle activity like that without having to use lethal force.”
Some of Collar’s fellow students echoed his mother’s criticism despite officials’ attempts to explain the situation.
“A cop has more than a gun,” one student told WALA. “He could have pulled out a taser, pepper spray, nightstick, anything like that. So why was his gun drawn at this kid, who was probably drunk or something like that? It just feels like it could have been handled in a better way.”
Watch WALA’s report on the reaction to Collar’s shooting, as aired Saturday, below.
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