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Florida deputy shoots alligator to save 15-year-old girl stuck in tree

"My daughter is stuck in a freaking tree and there's gators surrounding her!" the teen's mother frantically told a 911 dispatcher.
by Kalhan Rosenblatt /  / Updated 

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A Florida deputy shot and killed a nearly 11-foot hissing alligator after it chased a teen girl up a tree.

Jordan Broderick, 15, was floating on a raft in a creek near Alexander Springs Park in the Ocala National Forest where her family had been camping when the alligator approached on Friday.

Jordan was unable to reach the shoreline as the alligator chased her. She scrambled up a tree where she clung, screaming as her parents called 911.

"I'm at Freak Creek, my daughter is stuck in a freaking tree and there's gators surrounding her! We can't get her out! Please, she's 15," Jordan's mother pleaded to a dispatcher in audio obtained by NBC News.

Through sobs, the mother, whose name is redacted, tells the dispatcher during the more than seven-minute call that there are gators on land and in the water surrounding Jordan.

Toward the end of the call, the dispatcher tells the mother that it could take as long as 20 minutes for a marine unit to get to the area. The mother replies, “Oh my god! My daughter is going to be f------ dead!”

About 30 minutes after Jordan climbed up the tree, Lake County Sheriff's Deputy Mitch Blackmon arrived and he heard the teen screaming, according to a police report. The marine unit hadn't arrived yet, and as Blackmon approached the scene he could hear the alligator hissing, unfazed by his presence.

In the report, Blackmon said that when he arrived at the scene only the single hissing 11-foot alligator was in the water at the base of the tree where Jordan, who was becoming exhausted, had climbed up.

"My presence failed to scare the alligator away and it began encroaching on my area at which time I fired a one single 223 round from my Bushmaster AR15, killing the alligator," Blackmon wrote in the police report.

Florida officials said alligators are especially aggressive and territorial at this time of year.

"Right now they're really territorial. You have to be careful any time of year but right now it's the end of mating season, so right now they're really protective of their young and really protective of their nest," Sgt. Mark Farner, of the Lake County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit, told WESH.

Jordan was not injured in the encounter.

Last month, a woman disappeared after walking near a lake in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Her arm was later recovered from inside an alligator. The woman is believed to have died in the attack.

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