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Police ID 9-Year-Old Girl Killed In Long Island Pit Bull Attack

ELMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Police have released the name of the 9-year-old girl who died Sunday after being mauled by a pit bull during a backyard play date with friends.

Amiyah Dunston, of Baldwin, was killed in the attack in Elmont, police told WCBS 880.

The girl was playing in the yard with two other children at around 10:30 a.m. Sunday when the dog suddenly mauled her, 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria reported. The woman who lives on the ground floor tried to stop the dog, but couldn't.

Three police officers responded to a 911 call. When one officer entered the yard, the pit bull charged toward her, police said. She fired several rounds, killing the dog.

The victim was rushed to Franklin Hospital in critical condition. She was pronounced dead at 1:42 p.m., according to police.

Carlyle Arnold, 29, the owner of the dog, was arrested at the scene for an unrelated charge of violating a protection order, according to police. He reportedly lived on the second floor of the building.

Pit Bull / Elmont Attack
Carlyle Arnold and his pit bull, Kane (credit: Facebook)

While police said Sunday there is no criminality in regard to the attack, the Nassau County District Attorney's Office said its investigation is ongoing.

"We're looking to see if this dog did have violent propensities and what kind of dog ultimately it was and if it should have been left with children," Acting DA Madeline Singas told 1010 WINS.

Residents on the street all used the same word to describe the attack: "Horrible."

Neighbors described the dog, whose name was Kane, as otherwise gentle, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported.

Dunston's family told CBS2's Jennifer McLogan that they were devestated.

"I love her and we are hurting," grandmother Ana Dailey said.

They have been unable to come to grips with the incomprehensible mauling.

"Amyiah Kayla was a phenomenal little girl who has touched many lives with her presence, smiles, and laughter," he stepfather Brian Willis said.

Classmates at Plaza Elementary School were comforted by teachers, parents, and counselors, as they remembered the joyous child who loved to read and play the violin.

Police were also speaking with students about how to stay safe around animals and with parents on how best to control pets.

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