VIVIAN, LA (KSLA) - A Vivian neighborhood had an unexpected guest Tuesday morning.
An alligator was found in someone's front yard.
Now some are questioning why town police killed the reptile.
The discovery was reported about 9:30 a.m. at Posey Park Place Condos at South Pardue Street at East Arkansas Avenue.
A KSLA News 12 viewer who described the reptile as being 7 feet long said a police officer just walked up and, without warning, shot it at least 9 times in front of everyone.
The woman questioned why authorities killed the alligator instead of calling someone to come get it. She also said police at the least should have told bystanders to back up or something before the shooting began.
Deputy Chief Perry Hart, of the Vivian Police Department, told KSLA News 12 that officers found a 5-foot-long alligator in the town's Christian Heights neighborhood.
Public safety was always a consideration, he said.
The police chief decided to kill the alligator because it was in a residential area where there are children, and there was a wooded area and overgrowth near where it was discovered, Hart added.
There was no warning about the gunshots because the area was cordoned off and bystanders were far enough away that they were in no danger, he said.
Police were in contact Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Department personnel and receiving guidance from them. They were aware that Vivian authorities were going to kill the alligator for public safety reasons, Hart said.
Wildlife & Fisheries personnel picked up the slain alligator.