WETUMPKA, Ala. (WALA) - Family and friends of South Alabama student Gil collar turned out Saturday to remember and say goodbye to the 18-year-old in his hometown of Wetumpka, Ala.
The young man had just left Wetumpka to attend his freshman year at USA, until his tragic shooting death on Oct. 6. Collar, 18, was shot and killed by a USA campus police officer early in the morning of that Saturday.
One by one, folks filed inside Mulder United Methodist Church to view Collar. Some left visibly shaken.
Douglas Wood grew up living beside Collar. He said the two of them played sports together for years.
"He was always happy and always laughing. If he ever saw anyone in need of a smile, he'd be the first one to tell a joke. He was a great person," said Wood.
Wood said he found out about Collar's death through a text message. He says he couldn't believe it.
"I was staring at (Gil's) house in disbelief because I used to go play there. I'd look at their driveway and think about we used to be there. Now, he'll never be there again," Wood said.
The sight of dozens of cars that filled up parking lots at Collar's visitation is just one example of how his death has affected the small community.
Wood says this tragedy has left a mark on so many of those who knew Collar, he said a group of high school students are raising money for his family.
"I'm still in disbelief right now. I keep expecting his car to come driving down the road and for him to get out of it. But it's never going to happen," said Wood.
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