A dog that was shot and killed Friday during a road rage incident outside an Atlanta strip mall is being credited with saving a child's life, witnesses say.

Hobart Austin told police that he got into an argument with the driver of a Ford Taurus that nearly hit the vehicle he was riding in, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. The driver then followed Austin to a strip mall on Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, where he was dropped off.

The driver of the Taurus threatened to shoot Austin and opened fire, Sgt. Greg Lyon said.

Austin was not injured in the shooting, but bullets hit a Chevrolet Suburban occupied by a woman, three children and a dog – identified by the family as Noah -- according to police.

Witnesses told WXIA that Noah jumped in front of one of the children and was struck with a bullet.

"The dog took the bullet for the kids so the kids would be safe," a witness said.

Lyon said the Suburban and a nearby business were damaged by gunfire, but no injuries were reported and no arrests have been made.

The dog was seen on surveillance video running past one of the nearby shops following the shooting. He later died behind a building.