No Charges for Man Who Shot Killer Texas Gator - NBC Bay Area
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No Charges for Man Who Shot Killer Texas Gator



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    The man who killed this alligator several days after it attacked and killed 28-year-old Tommie Woodard, will not face charges. (photo provided by Sharon Brooks/The Examiner)

    The man who killed an alligator several days after it attacked and killed 28-year-old Tommie Woodard will not face charges, officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department say.

    Game wardens have concluded their investigation and the person who killed the gator has been issued a warning citation, according to Steve Lightfoot, with the TPWD.

    The man, who has not been identified, told investigators he acted out of concern for his family, himself and others when he killed the gator.

    "This was a truly horrific tragedy that unfortunately became compounded by the actions of an individual who felt compelled to take matters into his own hands for the safety of his family and others," said Colonel Craig Hunter, law enforcement director for the TPWD.

    It is believed Woodard was the first victim on record in Texas to die from an alligator attack. The 11-foot reptile that killed him weighed an estimated 400 pounds.

    On Friday, July 3, Texas Game Wardens were alerted to the possible alligator attack on Adams Bayou, on Oxbow Creek off the Sabine River in Orange County. Woodard's body was found about two hours later.

    An autopsy determined Woodward died by drowning but lost his left arm below the elbow in the attack.

    On Monday, July 6, the gator's carcass was found near the marina boat ramp not far from where the attack happened a few days earlier.

    According to the TPWD, illegally harvesting an alligator is a Class C misdemeanor offense carrying a maximum fine of $500.

    "In no way do we condone the killing of a nuisance alligator without proper authority. Either Texas game wardens or a licensed nuisance alligator hunter would have been more appropriate to handle the situation. Either way, because of its aggressive behavior, the alligator would have to be killed," said Hunter. "If there is a positive that can come out of this case, it’s an educational opportunity for us to reinforce to the public not to feed or disturb alligators and that there are proper procedures for handling nuisance alligators."

    You can read more information about alligators, including safety tips and steps for dealing with a nuisance alligator, can be found on the TPWD website here.