A dog that severely injured an 11-year-old boy in a mauling in Boston earlier this week has been euthanized, authorities said Friday.
Boston animal control officers say the dog's owners agreed to humanely euthanize the brown and white pit bull due to its condition and reported involvement in the incident.
The child could have been killed in the incident if it wasn't for an off-duty police officer who opened fire to stop the attack Wednesday.
The boy was rushed to the hospital with injuries to his neck, arm and groin after the attack, which took place about 12:09 p.m. in a three-flat's backyard at Rock Terrace Way near Davidson Avenue in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, officials said. There was no update on his condition Friday.
The off-duty Boston police officer heard screams, jumped a couple of fences and radioed for help before coming face-to-face with the dog, a pit bull in the middle of the attack, officials said.
"Fearing for the child's safety, the officer discharged his firearm, halting the attack," police Commissioner William Gross said.
The officer, who hasn't been named, was taken to the hospital as well. Officials haven't given an update on his condition.
"If it wasn’t for the off-duty officer, this child would be dead," Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh commended the office for his "quick and decisive action" to save the boy's life.
A second pit bull living at the property was also removed Wednesday afternoon but it was not involved in the attack.
”The child was in his backyard being attacked by a pit bull. And we are hearing that another individual was holding another pit bull, preventing that dog from joining in on the attack,” Gross said.
The nature of the relationship between the dogs and the boy is under investigation, but say police say they have been called to the house before because of the animals.
And a neighbor told NBC10 Boston that the dogs were "loose all the time," sharing video of them running through the street before the attack, their leashes dragging behind them.
“I’ve seen them when they were outside and they were trying to attack other people too,” the neighbor said.