Baby dragged outside by dog, killed in south Phoenix attack

Posted at 2:01 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 09:05:14-04

An 18-month-old boy was killed after being attacked by a dog in south Phoenix.

Phoenix Fire crews were called to a home near 24th Street and Baseline Road around 1:30 p.m. Friday after receiving reports about the incident. Police said a grandmother was at home doing laundry when she put down the baby boy. The woman opened a door and a Rottweiler got inside the room where the boy was.

Police said the dog then grabbed the baby, later identified by family members as MJ Raya, and dragged him outside. The grandmother tried getting the dog off of the baby but was unable to do so. 

When Phoenix police arrived at the scene, they witnessed the dog still attacking the boy, officials said. A police officer shot the dog, injuring it. 

"That sergeant fired one round at the animal and was able to divert the attention to the child, and that's when they were able to rescue the child," said Sgt. Mercedes Fortune with the Phoenix Police Department. The child was transported to a local trauma facility but later died of his injuries.

Fire officials said the dog belongs to the child's dad; police said the animal has been a family pet for three years now.

"Obviously it's sad all the way around -- you have a family pet and a child, there's just no way to spin this around," Phoenix Fire Department Captain Rob McDade said. "It's hard when you see a child in that much trauma...our crews are being de-briefed right now with our crisis team, this is a call that will obviously stay with them forever."

"Grandma was doing her best. From everything we've been told from our alarm room, grandma did her best to separate that dog from that child."

Maricopa County Animal Care & Control was called to the scene and the dog was taken to their Phoenix shelter. The animal was euthanized, animal officials said. 

If you'd like to donate to the boy's funeral expenses click here.