After identifying the animal responsible for his friend’s death, a man took to revenge when he shot and killed an alligator in Orange, Texas.
Tommie Woodward ignored signs warning of alligators when he jumped into an Orange bayou at 2:30 AM on June 3. After his body was found hours later, an autopsy revealed he had been attacked and drowned by an alligator.
On July 6, after a receiving a report of an alligator shot and found nearby, police were were called back to Burkart’s Marina, where Woodward had been killed weeks earlier. Local game wardens cut open the 11-foot, 400-pound gator and discovered Woodward’s remains still inside the animal’s carcass.
Rod Ousley, a game warden with Texas Parks Wildlife, told the Beaumont Enterprise killing an alligator is defined as a class C misdemeanor. That means whoever shot the alligator faces a fine up to $500. Ousley said the perpetrator should have called authorities and waited for assistance before taking action.
“We’re still backtracking to make sure a nuisance control hunter was notified,” Ousley said. “So far in the investigation, the answer is no.”
Shortly after the news hit, a man who identified himself as “Bear” to the Houston Chronicle claimed responsibility for the fatal shot.
“He had to go,” Bear said. “That’s what happens when you kill someone.”
Bear identified himself as a friend of Woodward who wanted revenge for his death. The incident is still being investigated by the local police department. Police captain Robert Enmon said he was happy to see the alligator removed from his community.
“Alligators are extremely common around here,” Enmon told BuzzFeed News, “but in my 25 years on the job this is the first fatality I’m aware of.”