Naked. Check. Bounces back initially after gunshot. Check-check.
It’s a story that sounds all too familiar — but this time around, an 18-year-old college student is dead and a University of South Alabama police officer under investigation.
The campus officer reported hearing a loud banging noise on the station window at about 2:23 a.m. Saturday, according to the university. He left the station to investigate and was “confronted by a muscular, nude man who was acting erratically.”
The young man, later identified as Gilbert Thomas Collar of Wetumpka, Ala., repeatedly rushed at and challenged the officer, the school said.
The officer drew his weapon and ordered the young man to stop, and he said he retreated several times to try to calm the situation.
“When the individual continued to rush toward the officer in a threatening manner and ignored the officer’s repeated commands to stop, the officer fired one shot with his police sidearm, which struck the chest of the assailant. The individual fell to the ground, but he got up once more and continued to challenge the officer further before collapsing and expiring.”
The district attorney’s office was contacted to make an external investigation and the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department will step in. Meanwhile, the officer is on paid administrative leave pending the investigations.
Kevin Ayers, the school spokesman, said the shooting is a “campus tragedy” for the university but didn’t offer more details.
The young man is being mourned back in his hometown, where he was well-known as a wrestling standout, and his coach, Jeff Glass, is stunned, reports the hometown newspaper.
#RIP Gil Collar , I can’t believe this bra… Why you had to leave like this…. Man I love you bro . You will be in my heart bro promise
— #77(@BigHOG_CwiLL77) October 6, 2012
“I remember the first time he walked into the wrestling room 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.”