Fatal Alligator Attack in South Carolina Sees Woman Killed Moments After Being Warned to Stay Away

A woman who attempted to get a closer look at an alligator in Kiawah Island, around 25 miles southwest of Charleston, South Carolina, was killed by a reptile attack, according to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office

Cynthia Covert, a 58-year-old resident of Johns Island, South Carolina, was reportedly dragged into the water by the alligator. A friend of Covert who witnessed the attack said the victim was at the friend's home on Salt Cedar Lane when she moved closer towards the pond.

″[The witness] kept yelling for her friend [Covert] to get away and saw her friend was about four feet from the edge of the water when the big alligator came up and attacked her friend," the report said.

The witness stated her friend never screamed during the incident.

The friend's husband, who said he would "never forget this incident," explained that he and a neighbor attempted to save Covert, hitting the alligator with a shovel, while the friend called the police.

The alligator dragged Covert under the water reportedly surfaced again briefly with Covert before going under again. Deputies opened fire at the alligator four times when it surfaced again, the report said.

Firefighters were able to pull Covert back to land but she was unresponsive and declared dead. She was reported to have drowned and her death was ruled accidental following an autopsy, South Carolina's Post and Courier reports.

The alligator's remains were also pulled from the water and given to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).

Last June, the body of an elderly man was reported to have been found in a pond on Kiawah Island with bite marks. Investigators later reported the man died of natural causes before the alligator came upon his body.

Back in August 2018, a 45-year-old woman was killed in an alligator attack on Hilton Head Island, while back in July 2016 a 90-year-old woman died following an alligator encounter in a pond outside a West Ashley care facility, the SCDNR reports.

Last year, a nine-foot alligator was reported to have bitten a 68-year-old South Carolina woman at night while she was walking her dog, leaving her with injuries to her arms and legs.

Alligator,  Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, 2012
An alligator swimming in a pond on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina on April 14, 2012. Getty Images