It was Wednesday afternoon when neighbors say Della Riley’s young son ran outside asking for help in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“He said somebody was having a seizure and that’s when everybody got alerted,” one neighbor recalled, according to Fox19.
Marietta Alexander, a second neighbor, said “it was a terrible sight to see” as the boy tried to seek help for his mother, WCPO reported.
Police wrote in a news release that emergency responders received a call about a woman who was suffering a seizure, according to the statement posted on the department’s Twitter account. But when members of the fire department arrived to the house to provide help, police say, they found a dog attacking Riley and called police for backup.
The Associated Press reported that officials said the dog was a pit bull.
A neighbor who didn’t want to be identified recalled that ambulances waited outside the house until police got to the scene, WKRC reported. Police say they found the dog standing over Riley, and officers attempted to enter the house to give her medical assistance, according to the police statement
Then police officers fired their guns, police say, shooting the dog and also hitting Riley in the abdomen. Police say the gunfire killed the dog — which “aggressively” lunged at the officers — and that an autopsy revealed Riley was already dead by the time the bullet hit her, according to the news release.
Riley and her boyfriend co-owned the dog, neighbors said, according to WLWT. The SPCA is now watching her second dog that was not involved in the fatal mauling, the report said.
Jon Seymoure, Riley’s next door neighbor, said he’s not sure if the dog attacked because it became frightened by Riley’s seizure, according to Fox19. WCPO reported that Seymoure said Riley has had seizures in the past.
“They was a cool family,” Seymoure said, according to Fox19. “They was just trying to make they life work that’s all. They ain’t bother nobody, they sat outside like everybody else. They kids played with everybody else kids.”
A neighbor, whom WKRC did not identify, said the little boy was asking “heartbreaking” questions about his mother.
“He kept asking me, like, ‘When is Mommy coming? Where mommy at,” the neighbor recalled, according to WKRC. “And I couldn’t even tell the baby anything.”