VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A family is mourning after a 91-year-old woman died Thursday morning after being attacked by a pit bull Wednesday.
Virginia Beach Police responded to the home in the Pembroke Manor neighborhood to assist Animal Enforcement around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.
Officers arrived to find the woman suffering from severe bites and lacerations as a result of the attack.
The investigation revealed that a 50-pound, 1-year-old American Pitbull Terrier attacked the woman as she was lying on the floor due to a fall.
The woman's only daughter, Linda told News 3 she was looking to adopt a rescue dog to join the two other dogs in the home. She fell in love with Blue from Forever Home Rehabilitation Center in Virginia Beach. She said Blue was gentle until the attack leading to her mom's death.
Linda said she had taken off Blue's shock collar and the canvas collar, as the center instructed her to do at night. She had been outside with Blue and was about to go back inside the house when she realized her elderly mom accidentally locked them out.
"I knocked on the door and could hear Mom saying to hold on a minute and that she fell as was trying to get up," said Linda. Linda tried to get the door open and ended up using a hammer to tap on a glass pane near the latch so she could get in. Once she opened the door she said Blue immediately ran inside to her mom's room.
"He jumped on her back and put his hands over her neck out of affection," said Linda. Then she said her mom yelled at Blue to get off of him. "I don't know if Mom triggered something. He was never aggressive until that moment," said Linda.
Linda said that's when Blue bit her mom, latched on and started shaking his head. "I've never seen anything like it. It was like something out of a movie," said Linda, who tried her hardest to get Blue off her mom. "I tried to pull him off, tried to say no, tried to be nice...I just thought if I could get him off of her for one minute," said Linda.
Eventually, Linda was able to put a walker between her mom and Blue to shield her. She said she tried to get the shock collar to zap Blue, but it didn't work so she hit Blue with a skillet.
Linda said Blue got her mom's arms, legs and stomach and her mom was conscious the entire time.
The woman was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. However, she died as a result of her injuries early Thursday morning.
Forever Home Rehabilitation Center sent News 3 this statement:
We send out our deepest condolences to the Patterson family who adopted Blue. Blue went through our 3 month board and train program, and was a favorite amongst all of the staff members and volunteers. Blue loved other dogs, and didn't know a stranger. He never showed any aggression while at our training facility, and passed his final evaluation with flying colors before being adopted out to the Patterson family. Trainers spent yesterday morning checking over Blue's new home and going over training with Blue's new owner. There were 2 other dogs in Blue's new home, who Blue immediately bonded with. We do not know what events transpired in the moments before this tragedy occurred with Blue's owners mother, and none of us could have ever predicted this horrible event. We are devastated for the Patterson family and our thoughts and prayers go out to them.
The dog is currently in quarantine at the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center.
The case remains under active investigation by Virginia Beach Police and the Virginia Beach Animal Enforcement Unit.
The family said they are seeking legal counsel.