Two dogs in an Atlanta neighborhood killed a 6-year-old boy and injured a 5-year-old girl while they were walking to their school bus stop early in the morning on Jan. 17.
Police have arrested the dogs’ owner, Cameron Tucker. The dogs were a pit bull and a border collie. Police had to shoot one of the dogs, The Associated Press reports.
Neighbors rushed to the scene after hearing 6-year-old Logan Braatz and 5-year-old Syari Sanders’ screams, reports WSBTV.
“I run up on the girl,” neighbor Angie Smith said. “She had been mauled very badly. I ran to the baby and when I looked down at her, I knew there was nothing that I could do.”
Another neighbor, Shamonte Clayton, was able to run the other dog off — at one point pointing a gun at the dog to get it to leave.
“I chased the dog away from the kids, and I noticed the second child, a little boy, his unconscious body laying down in the grass,” recalls Clayton. “I picked the child’s body up because his mom couldn’t do nothing but sit there and just cry.”
While Syari is now in stable condition in an area hospital, Logan died.
F.L. Stanton Elementary School says it has assembled a crisis team in response.
“Atlanta Public Schools sent a crisis team to F.L. Stanton this morning to provide grief counseling for students and staff,” the school said. “Our deepest condolences go out to the family.”
While social media commenters criticized the pit bull — with some calling it a “vicious breed,” others dubbing the dogs “killing machines” — others pointed their fingers at the owner.
“I’m not angry the dogs had to be put down,” wrote one user on 6ABC’s Facebook page. “I would have killed them myself! And I’m a animal lover. But I still say, it’s NOT the breed. It’s the freaking Owners and How they raise these dogs. Those poor children. And yes, I’m glad the owner was arrested.”
Others agreed it was the owner’s fault.
“If you can’t be a responsible pet owner, then DON’T OWN THEM!” chimed in another woman. “I’ve seen pits that are wonderful and loving, and I was attacked by a BEAGLE when I was 10. It doesn’t matter what breed they are. My heart goes out to the families and the children who did survive.”
Sources: AP via KTRK, WSBTV, 6ABC/Facebook / Photo credit: Supplied via WSBTV