MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Some University of South Alabama students questioned an officer's actions in the shooting death of an unarmed student early Saturday morning.
Colgan Meanor went to high school with Gilbert Collar and, when they both ended up at the University of South Alabama, Meanor never imagined the former wrestler from Wetumpka High School would come meet the end he did early Saturday morning.
"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." Meanor said.
USA Police said the Wetumpka, Ala. native was killed outside the police station around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.
They said an officer went to investigate when he heard banging on a police department window. Police said the officer saw Collar and the student repeatedly rushed the officer, who fired one shot and hit Collar in the chest, killing him.
Meanor said people others in Wetumpka are all having the same reaction.
He said, "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 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 afternoon 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 said.
There were 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. The students received their first e-mail about the shooting around 3:30 Saturday morning.
Sophomore Tyler Kendrick said neither the email, nor the news conference provided any satisfying answers as to why Collar was killed.
"He was definitely a very genuine guy. He was not anything of what I've heard was described of him last night. Really, it just upsets me that there's no other way to apprehend an unarmed student rather than shooting him. I don't understand that," Kendrick said.
Joshua Frye also thinks the officer had other options. He mentioned pepper spray, stun guns and night sticks as alternative means of apprehending Collar, who was unarmed.
"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," Frye said.
Frye said he felt the situation "could have been handled in a better way."
The entire incident was captured on campus security cameras. The video and other information has been turned over to the District Attorney and the Sheriff's Office which is now handling the investigation.
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