A dog was shot and killed after attacking a young boy in the Juniata section of Philadelphia Monday afternoon.
The pit bull attacked a 4-year-old son of its owner in an alley on the 4600 block of Shelbourne Street shortly before 3 p.m. Several neighbors tried to use sticks and a weedwacker to get the dog off of the boy.
"It bit his neck and took half of his skin off," Adrian Rodriguez, a witness, told NBC10. "A lot of his skin off and he was bleeding a lot. We saw a lot of people hit him with the weedwacker and everything else to stop him."
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The pit bull eventually let the boy go and was trapped behind the home, police said. A neighbor then got a gun, witnesses said.
"He pulled his gun out, shot the dog, ran back inside someone's house, then changed his shirt," Hadi Bsharat, another witness, said.
The dog died from its injuries. The boy was taken to St. Christopher’s Hospital for children where he was listed in stable condition.
The boy's mother called authorities. Responding officers took the man who killed the dog into custody. Police later released the man without filing charges.
While officers walked him to a cruiser, the unidentified man said he thought killing the dog would help the child.
Rodriguez told NBC10 he saw the family pet often but never saw the dog act violently prior to Monday's incident.
"If someone would go through, like a car or anything, he would just bark at it every single time," Rodriguez said. "They trusted the dog but guess they thought wrong."