Veteran shoots, kills 6-foot alligator in close encounter on Mich. property

TUSCOLA COUNTY, Mich. (WNEM/CNN) - An Army veteran from Michigan says he wants his neighbor’s reptiles gone after he got the scare of his life when encountering a 6-foot alligator.

Derrick Fells was visiting some property he owns in Tuscola County, Mich., when he found himself face-to-face with an alligator that apparently wandered over from a neighboring property.

Derrick Fells, an Army veteran, killed the alligator after shooting it in the head once, then twice more after authorities arrived.
Derrick Fells, an Army veteran, killed the alligator after shooting it in the head once, then twice more after authorities arrived. (Source: Derrick Fells/WNEM/CNN)

"I started fumbling and scrambling, trying to get my pistol out my pants so fast,” Fells said. “The gator turned and came at me.”

The Army veteran killed the alligator after shooting it in the head once, then twice more after authorities arrived.

Fells and his uncle, Aswad Issa, say the owner of the animal is a reptile vendor who lives next door. The police reportedly told the two there are two other alligators, one 8 feet long, on the property.

"The pen that that gator was in was empty, and he said, ‘Oh, I ain’t know it was missing.’ That thing had been missing probably over two days because I heard it the day before,” Fells said. “I would like to see these animals, dangerous animals, gone.”

Issa says if any more of the neighbor’s animals make their way to the property, they’ll suffer the same fate as the alligator Fells encountered.

"This is hunting territory. He’s standing to lose his reptiles. If those critters come over here, they’re going to have some problems,” Issa said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM, Derrick Fells via CNN. All rights reserved.