South Alabama officer cleared in fatal shooting of student

AP News
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Posted: Sep 16, 2015 1:42 PM

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge is dismissing a lawsuit filed by parents of an Alabama college student shot and killed by a campus police officer in 2012.

U.S. District Judge William Steele issued a ruling Tuesday throwing out the civil lawsuit filed by the parents of 18-year-old Gil Collar.

Collar was a freshman at the University of South Alabama in Mobile when he ingested drugs, stripped naked and banged on the door of the campus police station, court documents state. He was shot to death moments later by university police officer Trevis Austin.

Steele disagreed with the parents' claims that Austin violated Collar's rights. He says Austin is immune from the lawsuit.

Collar repeatedly told Austin to shoot and kill him before the officer opened fire, the judge wrote in his order.

Shortly after Austin confronted Collar, the officer began to retreat to create distance between the two, the judge wrote in his order. But Collar kept coming at the officer, closing the gap between them, he wrote.

As the officer continued to retreat, "he kept yelling, 'Get down,' and Collar kept repeating, 'shoot me' and 'kill me'" while ignoring the officer's orders, the judge wrote.

When Austin opened fire, Collar was about five feet from the officer and three feet from his gun, the judge wrote.

A law firm representing Collar's parents declined to comment.