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After police shooting of naked college student, mother asks why

A University of South Alabama student who was found naked by campus police was killed by a single shot fired from an officer's weapon. WPMI's Darwin Singleton reports.

A day after a naked student at the University of South Alabama was fatally shot in the chest by a campus security guard, his mother and friends are asking why no other means were used to subdue the 18-year-old.

According to a statement released by the university, an officer heard loud banging on the police station window early Saturday and left his post to investigate. The man banging on the window was Gilbert Thomas Collar, an 18-year-old freshman who had graduated high school the previous spring. He was naked.

Collar was a wrestler whose favorite quotation, according to his Facebook profile, was “Be easy.” His profile photo is of himself, sporting a skinny black tie and light facial hair, his arm wrapped around his mother.

According to the university statement, the officer “was confronted by a muscular, nude man who was acting erratically. The man repeatedly rushed and verbally challenged the officer in a fighting stance.”

The officer allegedly asked Collar to stop, but the young student chased him “in a threatening manner and ignored the officer’s repeated commands.”

That’s when the officer drew his police sidearm and shot Collar once, striking him in the chest.

Collar “got up once more and continued to challenge the officer further before collapsing and expiring,” the report said. The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

Collar’s mother told CNN she doesn’t understand why the officer had to shoot her son. Her son, she said, was 5-foot-7 and weighed 135 pounds.

“He was wearing no clothes and he was obviously not in his right mind,” Bonnie Collar said. “Obviously he was not armed. He was completely naked.”

Sophomore Tyler Kendrick was also dissatisfied.

"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 told The Associated Press.

Campus officials said the confrontation was recorded by security cameras. The video and other information has been turned over to the district attorney and the Mobile County Sheriff's Office, which will review the shooting.

A university spokesman declined to say Saturday whether Collar was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The University of South Alabama is in Mobile and serves 15,000 students. 

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