Florida deputy shoots and kills gator with an AR-15 after it trapped a girl in a tree


  • Photo via Adobe Stock
A relaxing day on the water quickly turned into a nightmare for a Florida teenager last weekend.

Last Friday, 15-year-old Jordan Broderick found herself trapped in a tree near Alexandria Springs park in Altoona for nearly an hour after fleeing from a 10-foot-long gator that was hissing at her from below.

After receiving a frantic call from Broderick's father and other family members at around 3 p.m., the Lake County Sheriff's Office was able to send Deputy Mitch Blackmon, who shot the gator with an AR-15.

When the deputy arrived, he found Broderick in the tree screaming that she was tired from hanging on one of the tree's branches, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

After failing to scare the gator away, Blackmon shot one single round from his assault-style rifle, killing the gator. Broderick was then able to climb down safely from the tree, according to the sheriff's report.

This behavior from local gators isn't uncommon, especially during mating season, which occurs around May or June.

Unfortunately, not all Floridians get away unscathed. Last month, a 47-year-old woman went missing after walking her dog in Broward County, and her arm was later found inside a gator lurking in a nearby pond.

To ensure safety, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission advises people to always be aware of the possibility of nearby alligators when in or around freshwater bodies in Florida, especially around dusk or dawn.

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