MOBILE, Ala. — A nude University of South Alabama freshman had taken LSD and assaulted others before he chased the campus police officer who fatally shot him, authorities said Tuesday, though the student was not armed and did not touch the officer.
Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran said at a briefing that 18-year-old Gil Collar took the potent hallucinogen during a music festival Saturday before assaulting two people in vehicles and attempting to bite a woman’s arm.
Authorities said Collar then went to the campus police headquarters, where he was shot by university police officer Trevis Austin, who is currently on leave.
Video taken by a surveillance camera showed Collar nude and covered in sweat as he pursued the retreating officer more than 50 feet outside the building, Cochran said. Collar got within 5 feet of Austin and the officer fired once, striking the student in the chest, Cochran said.
Cochran said Austin came out of police headquarters with his gun drawn after he heard Collar — a 5-foot-7, 135-pound former high school wrestler — banging on a door. While campus police typically carry pepper spray and a baton, Cochran said Austin was armed only with a gun during the confrontation.
The sheriff said it was unclear whether the officer could have avoided the shooting even if he had a nonlethal weapon to subdue the student.