The woman told deputies Covert typically was professional in her salon, but was relaxed and excited at the home, talking about her boyfriend’s visit from Tennessee, and brought a glass of wine with her.
Covert saw the alligator while working on the woman’s porch. When Covert finished, she started taking pictures of the alligator, the woman told deputies.
The woman and her husband started screaming for Covert to get away from the alligator because they saw it grab a deer a few days earlier, deputies said.
Covert said “I don't look like a deer” and reached to touch the alligator when the animal attacked, according to the report.
The husband and a neighbor grabbed a rope and threw it to Covert when she surfaced and stood in the pond. Covert grabbed the rope and said “I guess I won’t do this again,” but she was suddenly pulled under by the alligator, the police report said.
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Deputies and firefighters looked for Colvert for 10 minutes before her body surfaced. The alligator took her back under once. When the alligator surfaced again, a deputy shot the animal in the head with his 9 mm handgun, the police report said.
Covert’s leg was severely damaged, but an autopsy determined she drowned, the Charleston County Coroner’s Office said.
Covert was the third person killed by an alligator in South Carolina in the last four years. A 90-year-old woman walked out of a Charleston nursing home in 2016 and was killed. A 45-year-old woman walking her dog was fatally attacked on Hilton Head Island in August 2018.
Before those attacks, South Carolina had never recorded a person killed by an alligator.