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West Baltimore residents left with questions, concerns after stray pit bulls killed woman

Baltimore residents raise concerns after pit bull attack kills woman
Baltimore residents raise concerns after pit bull attack kills woman 02:23

BALTIMORE -- Residents in a West Baltimore neighborhood still have questions and concerns after a woman was attacked and killed by two stray pit bulls Friday evening.

"Why were the dogs not on a leash?" Tiara asked. "It could have been more than one person getting killed."

Two stray pit bulls were roaming North Pulaski Street when around 9 p.m. they mauled multiple people. Shelia Jones, a 54-year-old woman, died at the scene, according to police.

More questions than answers remain for neighbors who believe these dogs have an owner. 

They are also concerned because there are dozens of pit bulls in the area and they want neighbors to remain aware of their surroundings.

"I'd say we've got at least 30 pit bulls in this area, but they all belong to somebody. No such thing as a stray pit bulls in the Western District," said Marvin Cheatham, President of the Matthew Henson Neighborhood Association.

To capture the dogs, there was a city-wide call for additional gear as officers waited for animal control and the police helicopter that was tracking them from above.

Police say two officers fired their weapons – striking one of the dogs.

Per calls heard over the scanner, officers were often out of breath trying to track down victims and the dogs. 

An officer said, "Everybody take a deep breath. Let's come up with a tactical plan to box these dogs in… Nobody should be running into an alley by themselves."

Neighbors, though, remain concerned and vigilant, saying they want to know what these dogs looked like to track down, not only a potential owner but also other dogs related to these dogs. 

They are concerned there are more aggressive dogs living on their block.

"I've been here 73 years, it's not like the police don't know who I am," Cheatham said. "All we are asking for is, to give us some information so we can let the neighbors know what these dogs look like because then we can probably pinpoint who owns them."

Linda, a neighbor who preferred to remain anonymous and not appear on camera, says she understands the horror of this situation.

She said she was bit by a dog in her 20s and still has the scar decades later. If ever in that situation again, she says she isn't sure what she would do.

"I've been bit by a dog before, so I know it's crazy. I still have the marks on my arm," Linda said. "Pray each day before you walk out the door because you never know what's going to happen the next minute."

Police have not named the owner of the dog or indicated if any criminal charges will be filed. 

Baltimore Police says the investigation is active and ongoing.

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