The year is 1997. The city of Los Angeles is suffering from a brutal heatwave. Amidst this, the carnage of a gang war ravages the city streets. Unknown to the city's inhabitants, a predator is in town.
Following a search and capture operation during a gang-war, LAPD cop Harrigan's team senses something amiss. Someone seems to have gotten to their targets before them, and has literally butchered them. As more such incidents follow, Harrigan decides to visit the local "powder prince", King Willie, who is also an occult practitioner. Willie tells him that an unknown and powerful force is behind the murders of the policemen and the gang members. The predator then kills Willie.
Harrigan loses his best friend Danny, to the predator. After some hot talks with a special agent, Keyes, he loses another man of his team, when the predator attacks a metro-rail. The predator however releases LAPD cop Cantrell, when it realises that she is pregnant. Going to Danny's grave, he catches sight of Danny's necklace hanging from a tree. He knows that he is being followed by the killer.
One night, Harrigan sees the predator and follows it. After a lengthy chase, the predator stops at a slaughterhouse. But Harrigan is intercepted by Keyes' men and brought to their mobile base. Keyes tells him that they have been keeping tabs on the predator for some time, and have devised a way to capture it. The special agents dress up in special suits and go into the slaughterhouse. However, all their efforts fall in vain, when the predator switches its vision to a different wavelength and notices the men. Harrigan notices the predator's cautious movements and knows that the agents have lost their cover.
Soon after the predator kills all of the agents, Harrigan engages in a one-on-one fight with it and manages to wound it with his big guns. But the predator refuses to be put down, and kills Keyes who seemingly had survived the predator before. They make their way to the rooftop and Harrigan pushes both of them over the ledge. As the predator arms his nuclear bomb, Harrigan uses the predator's cutter disc to disarm the bomb and cut the predator's hand.
The action shifts to the next building and into the predators' spaceship. Inside a grand chamber, the predator engages Harrigan, but Harrigan still wins, using the predator's own weapon against it. The other predators come and take away their fallen comrade, and gift Harrigan with an antique flint-lock gun. Theh their spaceship blasts away, leaving Harrigan on the ground.
The special agents arrive too late, but Harrigan anticipates that the predators will return.