Police shoot gator twice, then realize it's fake

By BILL DRAPER | June 2, 2011 | 12:58 PM EDT

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — Missouri police responding to an alligator sighting in a suburban Kansas City pond took quick action to dispatch the big reptile.

It wasn't until after the second rifle shot bounced off the beast's head Saturday evening that the three officers realized it was a concrete lawn ornament.

Independence police spokesman Tom Gentry says a resident called to report that his children spotted a gator while playing in the woods near the pond.

After a conservation agent advised police to kill the gator if they felt it posed a danger, an officer shot it twice in the head before realizing it wasn't moving.

Gentry says the gator was partially submerged in weeds and looked real in the growing darkness.

The landowner says it was meant to scare off children.