Lee County man charged after alligator dies from gunshot wound
A Lee County man has been charged after he shot an alligator that later had to be euthanized.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded March 20 to a pond in the Brookshire Lakes community after someone reported an alligator had been shot.
The FWC said Andrew Lynn Price admitted to shooting the alligator in the head with a rifle. The alligator was captured alive a short time later but was humanely euthanized due to its injuries.
A neighbor off camera told us the suspect was by the pond with his young son when the alligator started moving toward them. She yelled across the pond to let them know. She says that’s when he pulled out a rifle and shot the gator.
“I thought it was awful,” Susan Tetrault said. I didn’t think anybody should shoot an alligator.”
People who live in the Brookshire Lakes neighborhood know there’s plenty of wildlife in their ponds.
“Just cranes and ducks and things like that,” Tetrault said.
Alligators are also present.
“You just live here, and you get used to them,” Tetrault said. “You leave them alone.”
But last month, a investigators say Price took matters into his own hands.
“I heard a sound, but it didn’t sound like a gunshot,” Cindy Elins said. “I thought it was maybe a car backfiring.”
Price was charged with a third-degree felony under F.S. 379.409(1) which states “A person may not intentionally kill, injure, possess, or capture, or attempt to kill, injure, possess, or capture, an alligator or other crocodilian, or the eggs of an alligator or other crocodilian, unless authorized by rules of the commission.”
“There was no reason for him first of all to fire a firearm in here because it was across the lake, and there were people walking around,” Elins said. “It could have ricocheted; it could have done anything.”
The charge was later reduced by the State Attorney’s Office to a first-degree misdemeanor for cruelty to animals. He was also charged with a first-degree misdemeanor for firing a gun in a public place.
We knocked on the door of Price’s home, where a woman answered the door. She said it wasn’t an ideal situation and said she didn’t have anything else to say about it.
Online court records don’t show an attorney listed for Price.