A 9-year-old girl was killed in a pit bull attack in a long Island backyard on Sunday, police reported.
Nassau County arrived at the Elmont home around 10:30 a.m. and found the dog attacking the child, the New York Times reported. Police fired several rounds at the dog, killing him, after he charged at one of the officers.
The child was taken to Franklin Hospital Medical Center in Valley Stream, New York, where she died shortly after 1:30 p.m., police said in the Times report.
“It was a violent attack,” Detective Michael Bitsko said in a related NBC report. “[Police] had to put the dog down.” He added that there had been no previous complaints to police about the dog, and he didn’t know why the dog attacked the girl.
“[The dog] was holding her somewhere on the side — I don’t know if it was the ears or the neck — and he was throwing her around like a rag doll,” said a next-door neighbor in a New York Post article about the incident.
The police said they did not suspect the attack to be a criminal offense, but the owner of the dog, Carlyle Arnold, 29, of Elmont, was arrested at the scene on an unrelated charge of violating an order of protection, the Times reported.
In April, Arnold uploaded a Facebook photo of himself and the dog, wearing a heavy metal dog collar and chains, with the caption “Beast!” the Post reported.