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Friends: Ala. student's behavior out of character

Associated Press Modified: October 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm •  Published: October 8, 2012

"I was the first person he met on the bus, and we've been friends ever since," he said. "He was the kid everybody liked."

Others agreed the actions were out of character for the normally quiet and reserved Collar, whom friends described as a popular and good-looking high school wrestler who stood 5-foot-7 and 135 pounds. Collar wasn't someone to make enemies — he even befriended his wrestling opponents, said his high school wrestling coach, Jeff Glass.

Collar wasn't known as a troublemaker and had only two minor scrapes with the law, according to court records: a speeding ticket and a citation for being a minor in possession of three cigarettes in March. He paid a $25 fine for the tobacco possession.

He was also so good-looking that his teammates didn't like standing next to him in team photos.

"The girls thought he was the best thing they had ever seen, and they may have been right," Glass said.

Wescovich said everything seemed normal when he saw Collar with friends in a student dining hall less than six hours before the shooting. Wescovich said he and others gave Collar a ticket to BayFest, an outdoor music festival in Mobile, and went on their separate way.

Hours later on campus, Collar was out of sorts and appeared intoxicated from alcohol or something else, according to two acquaintances who saw him. He was screaming profanities in the street and running around naked, said South Alabama student Bronte Harber, 18, of Columbus, Ohio.

Sarah Hay, 18, of Dallas, said she saw Collar shirtless outside her on-campus residence shortly before Harber encountered him. Collar was the loudest of a group of four or five young men, she said, and some of the others were trying to get him to calm down.

"He was talking about being on a spiritual quest," said Hay, but wasn't making any sense. Hay, who described herself as an acquaintance of Collar, said he was removing his pants as she walked back inside.

Neither Harber nor Hay said they witnessed the confrontation between Collar and the officer.

A candlelight vigil is planned for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Wetumpka High School. Collar's mother said funeral arrangements have not yet been made yet.


Rawls reported from Wetumpka.