A “pit bull-type” dog in Indianapolis, Indiana, attacked and killed a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy as she tried to protect her small child from it this week The woman is remembered by other deputies as being a “bright light” and a joy to be around.
Little is known about the attack that happened on Tuesday, May 9, at Tamieka White’s home. However, by the time the Indianapolis police arrived at the residence, the 46-year-old peace officer was close to death, shortly thereafter dying at the scene of the incident.
The aggressive animal had mauled both White and her son, according to WTHR.
A police report says the child knocked on his neighbors’ doors to find help after the attack. Eventually, someone called 911 and the police arrived shortly before 8 p.m..
Officers reported that upon entering the home and moving toward White as she lay in the garage, the dog charged at them. One of the responding officers fatally shot the animal. Although the incident happened in her home, the dog did not belong to White. The deputy reportedly owned a dog herself and was dog-sitting three others for someone she knew
IEMS and Indianapolis fire crews were called to the scene to assist in providing medical attention.
While the officers did not arrive in time to save White, they were able to support her 6-year-old son. They took him to a local hospital for treatment for the bites. He is now recovering from his non-life-threatening injuries.
Witnesses described the boy as in shock, CBS 4 INDY reported.
After the incident, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department released a statement saying their officers have identified who owned the animal.
Reports say a man arrived at White’s house and told police his girlfriend owned the dogs and that he wanted to take the dogs home with him. The officers refused his request and allowed the city’s animal services to seize the animals pending their investigation into what happened.
It has since been reported the animal services agency was called to White’s house on Saturday, May 6 around 3 p.m.. local station WTHR reports. Animal control was answering a report of two frightful dogs running loose in the community, demonstrating aggressive behavior.
Outside of the individual’s query, no additional information about the owner was offered to the press.
IMPD Maj. Mike Leepper called the incident “unfortunate,” saying that dog bites are common with children and young adults. He added, “[However], it is rare, a dog attack that results in death, but it does happen.”
A day after the mother’s premature demise, her commander at the MCSO Brittany Seligman gave remarks about her life and the tragic Spring night, IndyStar reports.
“She died last night protecting the most important person in her life,” Seligman said.
White had served in the sheriff’s office, joining the department in 2007. She joined the agency, serving in the Judicial Enforcement Division, which oversees collecting delinquent taxes, serving legal process papers, and the transportation of inmates to and from courts.
“Deputy White was a bright light to all that knew her. We are immensely grateful for her nearly 17 years of service to our agency. We will work to uphold her legacy as a courageous and dedicated public servant,” said Sheriff Kerry Forestal.
Indianapolis Animal Care Services issued a statement about the status of the dog and other animals that were inside the home at the time of the mauling.
It said its employees impounded the deceased dog but also removed three other canines. All four dogs seem to be “pit bull types.”
IACS also removed a cat from White’s house and will be holding the animals until an investigation into White’s death is complete.
Detectives from the IMPD Homicide Office were first called to handle the investigation, but now have passed it over to the Nuisance and Abatement Unit.