A disturbing act of shark abuse has been captured on video depicting a Florida fisherman shooting a hammerhead shark with a handgun.
This comes after another separate video last month showed a shark being dragged behind on a speeding boat.
An investigation is underway by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission investigators, according to Miami Herald.
In the video, a man in sunglasses is seen firing shots into the gills of a hammerhead shark with a handgun and can be seen laughing and smiling with his peers. The shark appeared to be alive before the shots were fired.
Animal activists claim the man firing the gun is Alex Kompothecras, the star of MTV’s new reality show called “Siesta Key,” the Miami Herald reports.
Kompothecras allegedly deleted a photo on his Instagram account where he was posing with a dead hammerhead shark. His clothes also seemed to match the clothes of the man in the video.
And in a recent interview, Kompothecras told the People he regretted his actions, seemingly admitting it was him.
“There are images of me and I feel horrible,” he said. “I am embarrassed and it won’t happen again.”
On his Instagram account, there were also photos of him when he was younger posing with deer and alligators he supposedly killed while legally hunting.
“I’ve made my share of bad decisions and I feel horrible, but all I can say is that I would not make those decisions again,” he told People. “I was being stupid but I’ve grown from that. It’s an eye-opener for me because it’s made me think long and hard about things I’ve done and I’ve learned from that. This has all been a shocking experience.”
Komphothecras also revealed in the interview that he had been receiving death threats when people mistakenly thought he was in the video of the shark being dragged on the speedboat. In actuality, he was just friends with the man in the speedboat video.
It is illegal to kill marine life with guns or explosives in Florida and hammerheads are a protected species. But that changes in federal waters further out where shooting them is allowed, CBS reports.
Neil Hammerschlag, shark research, and conservation program director at the University of Miami told CBS what he felt of the incident.
“I know a lot of people fear sharks, but really sharks have a lot more to fear from people. I think this whole situation is just an example of that,” he said.
Hammerschlag said some of the hammerhead shark species are nearly extinct and disapproved what happened in the video.
“It is clearly just a situation of mistreating wildlife,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any place for that in society.”