The only legal way to possibly get away with shooting people or alligators in Florida is to claim stand your ground. Unless properly permitted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, it is illegal to hunt, trap, or kill an alligator in the state.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that on October 22, 2013, 68 year-old Alan Abele, of Marion County, heard bumps in the middle of the night coming from the back of his house last week. He grabbed his .357 magnum pistol and shouted that he had a gun and wasn’t afraid to use it, then shot and killed the intruder.
Abele said that as he crept closer to the back door, crouched down and looking around, the intruder crept closer to him. Suddenly, he was knocked into a planter he said. “The next thing I knew he coming at me with his jaws open, so I pulled the trigger with the gun barrel about 3 inches from the side of his head.”
It was a 6-foot long, 200-pound alligator. A Florida Wildlife Commission spokesperson said that while gator attacks on humans are extremely rare, and more likely if the creature feels threatened, Mr. Abele “clearly had no other choice.”
With only a bruised arm, Abele feels lucky to be alive and said, “It was one of those times where you could say that ‘stand your ground’ really applied.”
This article was edited in June, 2016 to include the date of this incident and link to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Florida Man Shoots Home Intruder That Also Happened to Be an Alligator (blogs.browardpalmbeach.com)
- Man kills gator, thinking it was burglar (abcactionnews.com)