Mountain Lion Shot and Killed in Downtown El Paso
POSTED: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 9:37am
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 5:37pm
EL PASO - The mountain lion was first spotted in a downtown parking garage. That's where it was first tranquilized, but the chase was far from over.
"We didn't know what was going on until they all pulled up", that's what Maynard Haddad, owner of H & H said moments after a mountain lion was killed on his property.
He and his employees were just going about their daily business when the lion pounced on their property.
"No I wasn't scared of anything, what the hell do I care. I know how to run", Haddad said.
Before being trapped inside H & H's security gates someone spotted the lion inside this downtown parking garage..
That's where a state veterinarian shot it with a tranquilizer dart.
But before the dart could take effect the lion jumped out of the garage onto the street and the wild chase was on again.
This time it headed straight for Saint Clements School.
We spoke with Martin Munoz, the school's security guard, "Everybody was screaming," he said, "That's all I could do I ran and hugged like 3 or 4 of them and by the time I looked I saw the lion jumping over ."
From there the lion came face to face with this man.
Witnesses told us it pounced his legs, jumped over his head and ran right into the car wash.
As employees, scattered authorities lowered the gates.
For nearly an hour the animal wandered around as they waited for the tranquilizer to take effect.
When the lion didn't seem slow, the state veterinarian got another dart ready.
That's when chaos erupted.
Shots rang out and a TABC Officer could be seen standing with his gun drawn.
The state vet's emotional reaction was immediate, he yelled "Ugh you idiot."
He took off running and everyone including bystanders followed.
The vet stood by angry as the mountain lion lay dead at the officers feet.
The second dart had apparently spooked the lion, which charged the gate.
When it nearly made it through an opening, the TABC officer and an El Paso Police officer shot and killed it.
What happened was hard for a lot of people to take.
Several onlookers walked away visibly upset.
Police spokesman told us, "We hope that the public understands that public safety and human life are nothing we take chances with. The initial indication is that officers did what they had to do."