MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A student at the University of South Alabama's campus said he is in shock after his neighbor on the Delta 6 dorm was shot and killed by a USA police officer.
According to USA Police, freshman Gil Collar was shot and killed on Saturday, October 6.
Russell Long and Carl Stokley live a few doors down from Collar in the Delta 6 dorm. They remember him as a quiet, laid back person. But they also remember the horror that unfolded over the weekend.
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On a beautiful Monday morning Long said you would find Collar cruising on his long board.
"He told me I had a nice board and I was like, 'You too,' and we were going to long board to class one day," said Long.
Long had freshman English with Collar. He said he was a "free spirit", and was nice to everyone.
"He was really cool. Never had a beef with anybody," Long said.
Stokley recalled that early Saturday morning, when he saw a group of people running frantically in front of the dorm.
"Some of them weren't wearing clothes, and one was on his phone talking about how his friend couldn't handle it. We were like, 'What's wrong?' and he was like, 'Gil, he couldn't handle it. He's tripping too hard.' And we were like, 'Where is he?' and they were like, 'We don't know, he just ran off,'" Stokley said.
Stokley and a friend began to search for Collar.
"At 1:30 we were walking back toward Delta 6, still looking for him, and everyone's running around and all you hear is one gunshot - and it was super loud," said Stokley.
According to police, that gunshot came from outside the University Police Department.
"All you saw was the whole campus lit up blue with police cars that ran up there," said Stokley.
In a statement released later that same day, the university said Collar was naked and banging on the police department's window. They said an officer tried to calm him down, but Collar kept coming at him.
That's when they said the officer fired a shot. It hit Collar in the chest and killed him.
"The next morning my mom called me and was like, 'Do you know who that was?' And I don't know, that's when we connected it," said Stokley.
The two freshmen don't fault the officer, but said they believe things could have been handled differently.
"Everybody is just kind of shocked, just like, 'Wow.' Everyone is on the same page. They think he should have been tased, should have been maced," said Long.
The university was not available for comment Monday, October 8 about the incident and possible drug use on campus.
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