One person has been killed in a fatal alligator attack in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The unnamed victim was found last Friday around 11:45 a.m. near Excalaber Court outside of Myrtle Beach, after Horry County Fire Rescue responded to a water rescue call.
"Upon arrival, units determined that an alligator took hold of a neighbor who was near the edge of a retention pond and retreated into the retention pond," the Horry County Police Department posted on Facebook.
Officials said the victim's body was safely recovered, and the alligator responsible was found and humanely euthanized on the advice of a biologist from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
The victim's identity has not yet been released and an official investigation into the exact cause of death remains underway by Horry County Coroner's Office.
"Our hearts go out to the family and community members impacted by this tragic incident," the HCPD added in its post.
The tragedy comes on the heels of a social media post by local resident Jason Repak, who posted a photo of three alligators behind his condominium to Twitter on May 8.
— Jason Repak (@RepakJason) May 8, 2022
On Friday, Repak responded to the tragic news with a more serious message. "I couldn't have imagined that it was likely one of these alligators that would later kill a man," he tweeted. "My prayers and heart go out to the family as my arms wrap tighter around my kids and dogs near these ponds."
Speaking to the The New York Times on Sunday, Repak said that alligators are frequently seen at the retention ponds near his building.
"We've always looked at the alligators as a part of the community," he told the Times. "Everybody treats them with a healthy respect. You try to maintain distance from the banks, and when you see them out, you admire them from afar. They're a part of nature."
The victim is the first person to die from an alligator attack in South Carolina in two years, The Post and Courier reported. Cynthia Covert, 58, was killed in May 2020 when she was dragged by an alligator into a pond at a home on Kiawah Island.