CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

October 8, 2012

College freshman was naked when shot by campus officer


Associated Press

WETUMPKA, Ala — The mother of a University of South Alabama freshman killed by a campus police officer said Monday she’s been told he never touched the officer who shot him.

Gil Collar of Wetumpka was naked when he was shot at 1:30 a.m. Saturday outside the campus police station. University officials said Collar, a star wrestler at Wetumpka High School before enrolling in South Alabama, assumed a “fighting stance” and chased the officer before being shot. The university said security video captured the events.

“I have been told by someone involved in the investigation that the videotape shows my son never touched the police officer,” Bonnie Smith Collar said in a phone interview. She did not elaborate on how the person was involved in the investigation.

The university said the officer heard a bang on a window at campus police headquarters and went outside to investigate. The officer tried to retreat numerous times to defuse the situation before opening fire, the university said in a news release.

Collar’s mother said she has received conflicting information about what might have happened before the shooting and declined to discuss it. But, she said, “Whatever caused the incident was something that made him act not in his normal personality.”

Collar’s friends and officials at Wetumpka High School have described him as a popular student who excelled at sports but had a humble personality.

“I ask that everyone withhold their judgment about what did or did not happen until the evidence comes out,” his mother said.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Wetumpka High School. His mother said funeral arrangements have not yet been made yet.