MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A lingering air of sadness, as well as questionsm continue to accompany the news of the shooting death of a University of South Alabama freshman by a police officer.
Father Alex Valladares focused his Sunday mass on healing for the USA campus. The Catholic priest says the death of 18-year old Gilbert Collar has wounded the entire USA community.
"I thought there were three wounds that needed to be prayed for today, for Gill, for the loss of his life," Valladares said.
He said another issue facing the campus will be a trust issue between the campus police and the community of students.
Finally, he said, "Then the healing of the police officer himself, because no matter what the circumstance he's going to feel the pain of what's happened."
The university released a statement Saturday about what happened early that morning. Officials said Collar was naked and acting erratically when he banged on a window of the police station around 1:30 in the morning, and then rushed the responding officer who ultimately shot the teen in the chest.
The officer, who has not been identified, is on administrative leave. The case has been turned over the Sheriff's office and the District Attorney for external investigations.
One student who didn't want to give his name said he knew Collar from High School.
"We used to wrestle together in high school, and I really never knew him to act in this sort of way. I always talked to him before and after my matches, and I was really sad when I heard about it yesterday," the student said.
Other students were saddened by the shooting, as well.
"My first reaction was like don't they have like tasers and other ways to deal with it other than shoot the guy?" Carl Bentley said.
However, Bentley said he's doesn't want to second guess the officer's actions.
"If he felt his life was threatened to the point that he drew his gun. There's always another way to handle something but, if he felt his life was in danger, I feel like he had a right to protect his life," Bentley said.
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