ABILENE, Texas – A 7-year-old boy died after he was apparently attacked by two pit bulls along a road, and deputies summoned to the scene had to shoot the dogs before they could reach him, authorities said.
A driver saw Tanner Joshua Monk lying beside a road near Breckenridge on Sunday with two dogs nearby, Stephens County Sheriff Jim Reeves said. She got out of the car to help him, but the dogs became aggressive so she called 911, he said.
Two sheriff's deputies who came to the scene shot the dogs to death when they also became aggressive toward them. The deputies then found that Tanner was dead, Reeves said in Monday's edition of the Abilene Reporter-News.
Tanner was found alone about 150 yards from his house and 50 to 75 yards from a neighbor's house where he had been playing with some friends, Reeves told The Associated Press on Monday. The two pit bulls, along with two others seized at the scene by law enforcement, belonged to those neighbors, Reeves said.
No one was arrested Sunday. Reeves said evidence probably will be presented to a grand jury following an autopsy on the boy and tests on the dogs that were killed. Apparently no one saw what happened on the road north of Breckenridge, about 125 miles west of Dallas, he said.
Child Protective Services is investigating the boy's family for possible neglectful supervision, spokesman Paul Zimmerman said Monday. He said the family had no prior history with the agency, which is required to investigate child deaths.
It was the second serious pit bull attack on a child in four days in Texas.
On Wednesday in Fort Worth, a woman's two pit bulls attacked her 2-year-old niece as she was preparing to give the child a bath, police said. The little girl was critically injured, and her aunt also was injured as she lay over the child trying to protect her, police said.
Animal control officers later euthanized the dogs.