Unarmed student shot by police
Mobile, AL (WALA) – An unarmed University Of South Alabama student is shot and killed early Saturday morning.
Students woke up with details of the incident. But with details of the shooting sketchy; some on the campus are questioning if deadly force was necessary.
Colgan Meanor went to high school with Gilbert Collar. They both ended up at USA, but Meanor never imagined the former wrestling athlete from Wetumpka High would come to such a tragic end.
Meanor says, “You could ask anyone who knew him, he was a great, loving guy who always made people smile. He's not the kind of guy that people knew him and said he would do something like this, everyone from my hometown is expressing the same shock that I am right now. We're all very sad that this happened, and we're all very upset. It's just something that no one expected.”
Meanor and about a dozen other students attended the news conference outside the police station Saturday to try to find out what happened during the early morning hours.
They listened as a university spokesperson read a statement describing how the naked student repeatedly rushed an officer, and was ultimately shot and killed.
“It's very, very sad. It's a sad situation,” Meanor explains.
You can still see the smudges on the glass window where the student banged just before the officer came out, it had been dusted for fingerprints. According to the statement, the officer had his weapon drawn as he ordered Collar to halt.
Some of the students who were at the news conference live in the dorms right across the street from the police station. They said they didn't hear anything.
Sophomore Tyler Kendrick said neither the email, nor the news conference provided any satisfying answers as to why Collar was killed.
Kendrick says, “It just upsets me that there's no other way to apprehend an unarmed student rather than shooting him. I don't understand that.”
Joshua Frye also thinks the officer had other options.
“What I feel is that a cop has more than a gun… So, why was his gun drawn on this kid, who probably was drunk or something like that could have been handled in a better way,” Frye says.
University of South Alabama Police have requested the D.A.'s office conduct an external investigation.