ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) - Roswell residents can sleep a little better tonight knowing a mountain lion on the prowl has been captured.
Wednesday night, officers shot and killed the big cat found roaming a residential street near Pecos Elementary School.
A shattered window, bullet holes and a massive mountain lion paw print is the evidence left behind of the confrontation between deputies and a the animal at a Roswell elementary school. The mountain lion is dead.
"They said, 'Can you report to the school? We just had a shooting at your school. They just killed a mountain lion,'" said Daniel Gonzalez, a teacher at Pecos Elementary School.
Gonzalez was called to the school to shut off the alarm. When he arrived, he was surprised to see the 155-pound-lion dead, laying on the school sidewalk.
"It started at the door and the trail of blood ran all the way to here," Gonzalez said.
According to Roswell police, someone saw a mountain lion walking near Southeast Main and Chisum Street around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
When Police Officials made contact with the animal, it ran and jumped a fence. That's when they called Chaves County Sheriff's Deputies for help.
"An animal like that could kill a child easily. There could be pets disappearing for many days before somebody realized something was going on," said Lt. Britt Snyder of the Chaves County Sheriff's Office.
Summer school classes had ended at Pecos Elementary just hours earlier.
Roswell Police and Chaves County Sheriff's Deputies cornered the wild animal on the campus. They said the mountain lion started to charge, so they did what they had to do to protect themselves.
"If we have to put it down, then we have to put it down. We are not going to let it run loose in our community," said Snyder.
New Mexico Game and Fish officials agree. The situation was just too dangerous, they said.
"What they are, are killing machines. They have evolved to be meat-eaters. That's what they do for a living," said Lt. Michael Perry of New Mexico Game and Fish. "They eat cows, they eat sheep, they eat whatever is going to walk across the street and that's really not a scenario you want in Roswell."
Game and Fish officials said they think the young-adult-male lion roamed to Roswell from somewhere near Ruidoso.
They also said this is not the first time a mountain lion has been seen in Roswell. Eight years ago, a mountain lion was found walking along the streets of downtown.
Police are working to find out just how much damage was done to Pecos Elementary School.
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