At 1:23 a.m., on Saturday, Oct. 6, University of South Alabama Police responded to a loud banging noise on the west side window of the police station. When an officer exited the station to investigate, he 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 with weapon drawn ordered the individual to halt. The officer retreated numerous times in an attempt to calm the situation. The individual continued to press toward the officer in a threatening manner. The assailant kneeled for a moment, and then he rose again, rushing and chasing the officer, who continued to retreat away from the building. When the individual continued to rush toward the officer in a threatening manner and ignored the officer’s repeated commands to stop, the officer fired one shot with his police sidearm, which struck the chest of the assailant. The individual fell to the ground, but he got up once more and continued to challenge the officer further before collapsing and expiring.
The deceased has been identified as Gilbert Thomas Collar, an 18-year-old freshman from Wetumpka, Ala.
Immediately after the incident, the USA Police Department contacted the District Attorney’s Office to request an external investigation. Mobile County Sheriff’s Department will assist. The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of internal and external reviews.
The University extends its condolences to Mr. Collar’s family.
His Honor dismissed the case with a one-sentence order to the effect that Alabama law exempts the school from liability for wrongful death. The chief of police was not so lucky. The judge kept him in the action.