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Siesta Key Monday, Aug. 7, 2017 4 years ago

'Siesta Key' cast under fire again for newly surfaced shark-shooting video

The video was posted on 'Siesta Key' star Alex Kompothecras' Instagram, and surfaced just days after he told People Magazine he was 'horrified' by the shark-dragging video.
by: Cassidy Alexander Staff Writer

A new video depicting a man shooting a shark with a handgun is under investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The video was originally posted on “Siesta Key” star Alex Kompothecras’ own social media account.

The video, which has since been deleted, shows a man holding a hammerhead shark on a line, leaning over the side of a boat and shooting it several times on the side of its body. As blood pools around the shark in the water, the man holding the gun smiles.

People on social media have accused Kompothecras as being the man who shot the shark in the video. The man was wearing a long sleeve grey shirt and a red “Make America Great Again," hat, which Kompothecras was pictured wearing in a post on his Instagram. That post has also been deleted.

Alex Kompothecras poses with a dead marine animal in a post on his Instagram, wearing the same outfit as the man who appeared in a video shooting a hammerhead shark.

An FWC spokesperson said the organization opened an investigation into that video and has identified the suspects, but won’t confirm their identities as the investigation continues. It is illegal to shoot any fish in state waters, though it is unclear from the video where the incident took place.

Read: ‘Siesta Key’ premiere event canceled after outrage over animal cruelty allegations

This new controversy comes just a few days after “Siesta Key” cast members broke their silence on the public outcry over the first video that surfaced, depicting possible animal cruelty against a shark and its alleged connections to the show. 

The video prompted Gov. Rick Scott and state representatives to respond. 

Alex Miller, R-Sarasota, posted on her Facebook page that as the FWC investigation continues into the shark-dragging video, she would consider introducing a bill to help clear up what she called "vague" laws. 

"It is unfortunate that it takes events like this to bring to light other cruel animal abuses that occur on our waters," the post said. "If current law ... does not find this to be a prosecutable crime I will present a bill this session that brings more clarity."

Commenters online linked Kompothecras and by extension “Siesta Key” to this video by identifying the men in it and finding out that Kompothecras is friends with at least one of them. Kompothecras called the behavior in the first video horrifying.

“It would be one thing if it was something I’d done and I’d gotten caught but this is something I am 100% against,” Kompothecras told People Magazine about the shark-dragging video. “I’ve been fishing for 15 years in Sarasota and I’m very respectful of the profession. I love the water. I consider it my backyard and I would never consider doing something like that. I don’t condone what he did and I was horrified by it.”

The Observer reached out to MTV for comment more than a week ago but did not receive a response. However, three cast members spoke to People Magazine last week.

Read: Residents react to 'Siesta Key' reality show

Alex Kompothecras, Madisson Hausburg and Brandon Gomes all told People they had received death threats since the shark-dragging video surfaced, but denied having anything to do with the incident or the people in it.

Kompothecras said when he saw the video he was “absolutely horrified.”

“There are images of me and I feel horrible,” Kompothecras said of other images and videos on his social media accounts, like the one of a man shooting a shark. “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. 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.”

The second episode of “Siesta Key” airs tonight at 10 p.m. on MTV.

Niki Kottmann contributed to this story. 

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