Originally posted by Cruciform
As for the threat of the Gorilla, he posed a threat of injury but the chances of him actually killing someone were pretty remote. They'll knock you stupid but they're not mindless killing machines. The cops don't know that though. They have to protect the public, and also avoid getting sued because just by letting it live one minute longer and smacking someone around they put the city at an even greater risk of liability.
I wouldn't have thought twice about shooting the Gorilla if it had my 3 year old child's head in it's mouth. I think it's a terrible tragedy for the Gorilla and the zoo, but I certainly don't blame the cops for what they did.