The rain stopped, and a sheriff's helicopter dipped beneath low gray clouds and zeroed in on the tiger. A news chopper swooped down, and within minutes the trackers, game wardens and deputies surrounded the tiger as it hid in a clump of coastal sage scrub near the bottom of the ravine.
The trackers and deputies approached from the ridge top and surrounded the tiger. There was no discussion about what to do next. They opened fire. Four rounds hit the cat, killing it instantly. Wall was in a patrol car, heading for the scene. When he heard the news, he called his boss, assistant chief Mike McBride, the regional patrol chief. "Mike, we got him," he told McBride. "It was a tiger, and we had to take him out."