Neighbors describe trying to help girl, 9, mauled to death by pit bulls in Detroit

DETROIT -- Detroit police continue to investigate after a 9-year-old girl was mauled to death by pit bulls while playing in an alley near her home Monday.

It was a heartbreaking scene, reported WXYZ. One moment a young girl was having fun playing in an alley, the next she was viciously mauled to death by dogs.

"When I come out of my house, I heard all the screaming and I was aware something bad had happened," said Deborah Golden, who tried to help the girl.

Golden said it was the worst scene she's ever seen.

"I seen the little girl flat on her back with the bite marks and part of her neck hanging off," Golden said.

The 9-year-old Hispanic girl was attacked by three pit bulls shortly before 4 p.m. while playing in an alley near Central Avenue and Smart Street in southwest Detroit, according to police.

"I started CPR and I had the dad grab her neck and hold it," Golden said.

One man who saw the attack quickly came to the young girl's aid, trying to free her from the dog's mouth.

"I went and grabbed a brick and threw it right at the dogs," said Edward Cruz. "They all ran and I stood next to the girl to make sure she was OK, and I yelled out for help."

Police said one of the dogs was shot.

"A friend of the owners, I was told, fired a shot at the dog," said Captain Russell Solano with Detroit police.

The vicious, fatal mauling left neighbors and police wondering what provoked the dogs to attack, ending the young girl's life.

"You're talking about a 9-year-old girl who was just out there playing and now she's not here," said Capt. Solano.

"I did not realize that they would be doing this," Cruz said. "They're not vicious dogs, they're really nice dogs. They're gentle, I don't know what came over them."

The owner of the dog was arrested and is in custody, and the remaining dogs are now in possession of animal control. The prosecutor will now determine what charges, if any, the owner will face.
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