U.S.

Florida Man Shoots 'Bully' Shark: 'You Can Shoot a Nuisance Giraffe, but If You Take Care of a Shark....You’re a Bad Person?'

A Florida man has faced a social media backlash after posting a video to Instagram showing him shooting a shark with a pistol while fishing.

Buddy Tomei, a Greater Naples firefighter, is currently being investigated by Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission after footage of the shooting was shared thousands of times online, WBBH-TV reported. The video has since been deleted from the social media platform.

Florida officials said it is against the law—a second-degree misdemeanor—to shoot sharks in state waters. However, it was not immediately clear where the incident took place.

According to WBBH-TV, which cited the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it is considered legal to shoot at a shark that has been fished in federal waters. That jurisdiction currently begins nine miles offshore, the publication reported.

In the Instagram post, Tomei posted the video alongside the caption: “How Capt. Buddy deals with bullies! You can shoot a nuisance giraffe, but if you take care of a shark that runs divers out of the water you’re a bad person? I only mess with the ones that mess with me.”

Two shots could be heard in the footage, sparking outrage on the social media app. The fisherman responded to one commenter who asked how long the animal had lived after being shot. Tomei wrote back: “I already had three rounds in it. Those two put her to bed.”

In an Instagram post last Thursday, the man posted an image of a caught shark, writing he was irritated the species had previously interrupted his catches while fishing.

“I’m tired of loosing (sic) every permit, cobia, amberjack, and everything else that pulls drag to these overrun gangsters! Let the bunny huggers cry, I’m sorry! I see the damage they are causing and I’m gonna find a good use for em,” Tomei stated. In June last year, a video on his Instagram account showed a woman shooting a rifle multiple times from the side of a fishing boat.

This week, as the news of the shark shooting spread online, Tomei’s profile was overrun with negative comments.

In response, the Florida man posted an image of himself wearing a full-body shark costume that was designed to make it look like the animal was eating him. Hitting back against mounting criticism, he added the caption: “Does this make all you haters happier?? Just act like it’s real so you can sleep better. Bunch of radicles! (sic).”

Media representatives from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the local NOAA branch did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek.

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