A 16-month-old girl was fatally mauled today by the family’s dog and the child’s grandmother appears to have been accidentally shot by a neighbor who was trying to stop the animal attack.
The young girl received multiple injuries to her head and chest and was rushed to a Las Cruces hospital where she was pronounced dead this afternoon. The girl’s 52-year-old paternal grandmother received a gunshot wound to her leg and was transported to an El Paso hospital.
Shortly before 11:30 a.m. Las Cruces Police were called to the 800 block of Stone Canyon Drive by a neighbor who reported hearing cries for help from the child’s grandmother.
Detectives learned that the family’s dog, a 2-year-old pit bull, attacked the young girl in the backyard of her grandparent’s residence. The girl’s grandmother tried to intervene but she, too, was attacked by the dog.
A 69-year-old neighbor heard the grandmother screaming for help and saw that the dog was attacking her and the girl. The neighbor retrieved a .45 caliber handgun from his home, called 911 and went to the aid of the girl and grandmother.
Detectives learned that the neighbor entered the backyard and fired several shots at the dog, one of which appears to have struck the grandmother’s leg. The dog ran to the side of the home where the neighbor followed and fired one last fatal round.
Fire and rescue personnel provided emergency first aid to the child and grandmother before the two victims were rushed to area hospitals.
Detectives are continuing their investigation at this time.