Little Mia Derouen in Houma Parish, Louisiana, was killed on Tuesday night by her family’s 2-year-old male Pit Bull as she watched TV, despite her mother’s frantic efforts to drag away the dog.
Mia, who would have celebrated her fifth birthday next week, suffered severe facial, body and head injuries from Tuesday night’s attack in a scene described by Houma Police Chief Todd Duplantis as “horrific” and shocking.
The attack happened just after 7 p.m. at Houma Highlands, 461 S. Hollywood Road, Chief Duplantis said. Neighbors called police after hearing screams, according to Houma Today.
The mother, Megan Touchet, 27, identified by police as the dog's owner, reportedly pulled the child away from the dog and barricaded herself and her daughter inside a bedroom as the huge Pit Bull attacked the door,
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She was screaming for help and calling 911.
When paramedics arrived, the mother handed her bloody child to them through the bedroom window.
The girl, who suffered multiple severe face and head injuries died at Terrebonne General Medical Center, Chief Duplantis told WWL-TV.
A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she heard screams and growls coming from the apartment where the girl was staying and called 911.
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Officers had to fire 13 shots into what they called the 'monster' dog before the 130-pound Pit Bull stopped charging. Police cornered the dog in the apartment about 9 p.m. and tried to shoot it through a window. The dog ran from the apartment and was shot repeatedly because it continued to attempt to attack officers. The deceased dog was later carried away on a tarp by four animal-control workers.
Neighbors said they saw the family regularly walking two dogs but never saw either animal act aggressive.
The second Pit Bull found at the apartment -- a 6-month-old female, called Khloe -- did not appear to have been involved in the mauling. She was impounded at the animal shelter during an investigation of the circumstances that caused the attack and whether charges should be filed.
Police will also investigate whether there appears to be any evidence that the dogs were being trained or used for dog fighting. However, Chief Duplantis said there were no obvious indications at this time of any connection with dog fighting.
The mother, Megan Touchet, remains hospitalized with wounds from the dog attack that authorities described as moderate.