(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) — An elderly man was killed and a woman critically injured in a “horrific” dog attack in Texas on Friday, authorities said.
The incident occurred around 1:45 p.m. local time in a residential area of San Antonio.
Responding firefighters had to fend off the dogs with pickaxes and pipe poles, according to San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood, who called their actions “heroic.”
“Horrific scene — horrific for the people that experienced this and, again, horrific for our firefighters that were a part of this, basically, a rescue to save themselves and to save these people,” Hood said.
An approximately 80-year-old man and a woman both believed to be visiting the area were mauled in the attack, which occurred on the sidewalk, Hood said. They were both transported to a local hospital. The man died due to his injuries, while the woman remains in critical condition, Hood said.
Another individual was transported to a hospital with a bite to the hand, Hood said. A fire captain was also bit in the leg while responding to the attack, he said.
Two dogs determined to be involved in the attack and a third from the same household that was unrestrained and outside the property were taken into custody, according to Shannon Sims, director of San Antonio Animal Care Services.
The dogs — American Staffordshire terriers — will be placed in quarantine kennels “for the foreseeable future” and remain with Animal Care Services throughout the investigation into the deadly attack, Sims said.
The investigation is in the preliminary stage and it is too early to determine what, if any, charges may be filed, authorities said.
The animals were previously involved in an incident in 2021 that resulted in mild bites, Sims said. The dogs were returned after they finished quarantine and the owner paid reclaim fees, he said. An affidavit was not filed by a victim and witness and “therefore we could not move forward and a dangerous dog designation,” he said.
Neighbors have also called the animal shelter to report dogs at the property that were estray and neglected, Sims said.
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