The eyewitness video shows a two-foot-long cobra in the middle of a hallway on the third floor at the Rice Lofts. Residents say they spotted it there over the weekend.
PHOTOS: Cobra found in luxury downtown Houston loft
"I look down and for a second your brain does not compute what that is, right? 'Cause you're in a high rise and you don't expect that. And I'm looking and looking and it moved and we screamed and we ran back into the apartment and shut the door. And then we opened it and we were like, 'What's going on out there?'" witness Jan Johnson said.
The venomous cobra was blocking Joseph Manglicmot's front door.
"Had a wedding to go to on Saturday, I was running super late," he said.
But Manglicmot's fear for snakes is greater than his fear for heights.
"I went out my neighbor's window and scaled the wall into my place," Manglicmot said.
More residents surrounded the cobra, which was about a year old.
"We talked about throwing a laundry basket over him. We were worried that the snake was going to go someplace where we could not find him. So it's better to keep him in sight," Johnson said.
Then police officers arrived at the scene. They tried to catch the snake, but it fought back. Eventually, they were able to use a broom to corral the snake in a bag.
Animal control at first wasn't sure if the snake was indeed a cobra or a hog nose snake, a non-venomous snake that can flatten its neck to look like a cobra.
However, Brian Moss with A All Animal Control has now identified the snake as a albino monocled cobra, a highly venomous snake native to South and Southeast Asia.
Moss said the officers didn't know it, but they were playing with death.
"One misstep and one of them would have been in a hospital quick," Moss said.
Officers handed the snake over to Moss, who decided to euthanize it because it was far too aggressive.
"That particular cobra is one of the deadliest snakes in the world," he said.
The big questions now: Whose cobra was it? And how did one of the world's deadliest snakes get out? null