Rattlesnake Shooting Causes Walton Co. School Lockdown

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WALTON COUNTY Authorities locked-down Van R. Butler elementary school in Walton County for fifteen minutes Thursday after a gun shot.

Turns out a man across the street shot a rattlesnake that was threatening neighborhood children.

Herpetologists say "snake-season" is just beginning.

Walton County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of gunfire on 30A around 12:30 Thursday afternoon.

That triggered precautionary lock-down procedures at Butler Elementary School, across the street.

When deputies arrived they discovered a man had shot this rattlesnake through its head.

Torey Geile who shot the snake says, "A homeowner down the street, they were motioning towards a snake. The homeowner let me know that he had two kids and he wanted me to do something about the snake so I pulled out my weapon. I shot the snake in the head."

Lieutenant Keith Chamblee from the Walton County Sheriff's Office adds, "And as you can see behind you there, it was a pretty large rattlesnake."

Experts say this is a typical problem this time of the year. Snakes are more prevalent because the weather's getting warmer.

Zoo World Education Director Stephanie Sinnett says, "We did have an unusually wet and unusually cold spring this year, so right now I think everybody's just coming out and feeling frisky."

Corals, Pygmy rattlers, Water Moccasins, and Eastern Diamondbacks are venomous species indigenous to our area.

There are things you can do to keep snakes from hanging around your yard.

Sinnett explains, "If there's a lot of yard debris or wood piles or high grass or things like that, make sure that gets trimmed down."

If you do see a snake and aren't sure if it's venomous, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.