2016 dog bite fatalities ::

It often takes several weeks to identify fatal dog attack parameters.1 This is why recent dog bite fatalities may not appear on this page. In the interim, please visit the DogsBite.org blog.

2016 dog bite fatality victims

Fatal pit bull attack, Tyler Trammell-Huston

Tyler Trammell-Huston

9-years old | Linda, California

Tyler Trammell-Huston, 9-years old, was brutally killed by his sister's three pit bulls after she left him alone with the dogs. At the time of the attack, Tyler was staying with his half-sister, Alexandria Griffin-Heady, who hoped to "rescue" him from the foster system. Tyler was in protective custody, living at a foster home under the care of Sacramento County Child Protection Services. In October, CPS began granting unsupervised overnight visits with his sister and her pit bulls who lived in a small trailer that sat adjacent to a home where two of Tyler's siblings lived. Griffin-Heady had raised the pit bulls, a mother and two offspring, since they were puppies. She gushed about her pit bulls on social media and posted numerous photos of them. In a tearful press conference after Tyler's death, Griffin-Heady called her pit bulls "my babies" and "What made them do that I will never know." In late March, the Yuba County DA declined to bring charges. [source citations]

Date of death: January 3, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (3) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Half-sister
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Payton Sawyers

Payton Sawyers

15-months old | Independence, Virginia

Payton Sawyers, 15-months old, suffered life-threatening injuries after she was attacked by a pit bull-mix while under the care of her babysitters on January 6. Grayson County sheriff's deputies and rescue personnel responded to a 911 call about 9:30 pm on the 400 block of Penn Ford Road. The child was airlifted to Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in critical condition. Sheriff Richard Vaughan said the child was attacked by the couple's pit bull-mix, E.J., and the dog had the child's head in its mouth. After an investigation, including executing a search warrant of the couple's home, John Underwood II and Terra Connell were charged with felony child neglect and possessing a vicious dog. Connell was also charged with possession of illegal drugs and possession of ammunition by a felon. On January 8, Payton died of her injuries. After her death, the Grayson County Sheriff's Office charged the couple with second-degree murder in addition to the other charges. [source citations]

Date of death: January 8, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-rottweiler mix Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Babysitter
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Talan West

Talan West

7-years old | Lumberton, North Carolina

Talan West, 7-years old, was brutally killed by a neighbor's pit bull, while two other dogs attacked and injured his 8-year old brother. The attack occurred on the 2400 block of Odum Road in Lumberton, a few homes down from where the siblings lived. Talan and his brother Jaylan were playing in a field behind their home when three loose dogs charged them. Jaylan jumped on a car, but his younger brother could not escape. Robeson County deputies found Talan unresponsive with “severe puncture wounds about the body.” His mother Jamie West said the pit bull ripped out the back of his neck, breaking it. Both children were taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center, where Talan died. His brother was treated for dog bite injuries and released. The male pit bull was found dead at the scene; the dog reportedly had a severe case of heartworms and became overexcited during the attack causing heart failure. The two dogs that attacked Jaylan, both mixed-breed females, were euthanized after the attack. [source citations]

Date of death: January 24, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (1)
Mixed-breed (2)
Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal dog attack, Aiden Grim

Aiden Grim

3-days old | Youngstown, Ohio

Aiden Grim, 3-days old, was fatally bitten on the head by a family dog. The infant had been lying in a plastic laundry basket on the floor. His mother, 21-year old Kristy Grim, was sleeping next to him on the couch. She awoke to the baby screaming, covered in blood. Youngstown police arrived and found the baby deceased with a head injury. Police said Grim's brother and mother were also home at the time, along with five dogs. Authorities seized the dog that inflicted the bite. Dr. Joseph Ohr, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy, said the baby died after the dog's teeth pierced the infant's skull causing fatal brain injuries. The manner of death was ruled accidental. Dr. Ohr said the male labrador-shepherd mix tried to pick the baby up from the laundry basket. Facebook photos -- which caused an angry backlash on social media -- showed that the dogs used these baskets as beds. No charges were filed. The male dog belonging to Grim's brother was later declared vicious and returned to him. [source citations]

Date of death: February 7, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Labrador-shepherd mix Relationship to dog: Famiy
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Uncle
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Suzanne Story

Suzanne Story

36-years old | Hertford, North Carolina

Suzanne Story, 36-years old, suffered a violent death by her pit bull-mix. She died just as a helicopter sent from a Virginia hospital was landing to airlift her to the facility. Story had been cleaning the dog's crate in her home when it suddenly attacked her. Her older sister and roommate, Robin Ross, heard her screams for help. Ross managed to pull the roughly 100-pound dog off her and shut the animal in the bathroom, but the dog broke a hole through the door and attacked Story again, ripping her throat out. "The dog was holding her down," Ross said. "It was horrible." Story had acquired the 1.5-year old dog, named Buddy, about two weeks earlier from a newspaper ad placed in The Virginian Pilot. The ad said the dog was "very good" with kids and people. Cheryl Davino of Norfolk, the dog's former owner, placed the ad. Davino and her husband drove the animal across state lines to Story's home and gave her the dog free of charge. Davino said the dog was "a big baby" and had never been aggressive in the past. [source citations]

Date of death: February 10, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-boxer mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull-mix attack, Gladys Alexander

Gladys Alexander

92-years old | Olympia, Washington

Gladys Alexander, was brutally attacked by up to four dogs after entering a neighbor's home to give her a newspaper. The neighbor had helped Gladys with some day-to-day tasks, and it was not unusual for her to enter into the person's home, the Thurston County Sheriff's Office stated. At the time of the attack, the neighbor was away. She returned while the dogs were attacking Gladys. She intervened to stop the attack and called 911. Gladys was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. She died from her injuries two days later. The sheriff's office described the dogs as two adult pit bull-mixed breeds and two juvenile mixed-breeds, containing pit bull, labrador and heeler. The neighbor owned one of the dogs and had been dog sitting the others for her daughter who was incarcerated. Officials seized the dogs after her death and all four were euthanized after a 10-day quarantine period. [source citations]

Date of death: March 8, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-lab mix (2)
Lab-pit bull mix (2)
Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unknown/No2 Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Bessie Flowers

Bessie Flowers

86-years old | Charlotte, North Carolina

Bessie Flowers, 86-years old, was fatally attacked by her daughter's two pit bulls. Flowers was visiting her daughter's home in south Charlotte when the deadly attack occurred. Flowers was on the back porch heading into the home when she slipped or tripped onto the dog bed. The family pit bulls approached Flowers and began "playing with her." This turned into aggression, which rapidly escalated, according to police. The victim's daughter was able to pull the dogs off Flowers and call 911. In a gasping voice, she told dispatchers, "This is an emergency. My dogs attacked and really hurt her. Please come!" The dogs attacked her face and neck causing fatal dog bite injuries; she died at the scene. Because the daughter did not want to surrender her pit bulls to authorities, animal control officers seized them. Both pit bulls, a male and female, were later euthanized. No autopsy was performed because the cause of death was "clear" as "blunt force neck injuries due to dog attack," the medical examiner's office said. [source citations]

Date of death: March 28, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Daughter
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Sonda Dyan Tyson

Sonda Dyan Tyson

66-years old | Leesburg, Florida

Sonda Tyson, 66-years old, was brutally mauled to death by her own dog. Family members discovered Tyson lying in a pool of blood on the back porch of her home. Her daughter-in-law, Amber Fletcher, called 911. Fletcher told dispatchers, "She's bleeding everywhere ... Her bones are showing..." Paramedics arrived and began to evaluate the victim when a large dog coated in blood tried to push its way onto the porch. Paramedics first tried to block the dog's path with a refrigerator, then retreated and called police. Officers arrived minutes later and shot the dog with a rifle from atop of a fire truck. A second shot was required to kill the animal, police said. “It was a gruesome scene,” Police Lt. Joe Iozzi said. The medical examiner said the cause of death was massive blood loss, resulting from the mauling. Family members said that Tyson lived alone with her four dogs, including the pit bull-bullmastiff mix named "Hercules." Tyson's son found the dog as a puppy and gave it to her for protection, they said. [source citations]

Date of death: March 31, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-bullmastiff mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Sebastian Caban

Sebastian Caban

3-days old | San Diego, California

Sebastian Caban, 3-days old, was killed by a pit bull-mix while lying in bed with his parents and the dog. When his mother coughed, the dog suddenly attacked the baby's head. Both parents had to pull the 80-pound dog off the baby. After two 911 call attempts that went unanswered, the couple rushed Sebastian to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Deputy Director of San Diego County Animal Services, Dan DeSousa, told the media the dog was an American Staffordshire terrier, a breed more commonly known as a pit bull. Within 3-hours of news media reports, DeSousa used multiple breed names to distance the dog from a pit bull, including a "great dane-terrier mix" -- complete denial of any pit bull heritage. Five days after the baby's death, San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) admitted they adopted out the neutered 2-year old pit bull-mix named Polo to the couple 5-months earlier. Over the next few days, SDHS posted four posts to their Facebook page promoting pit bulls and pit bull adoptions. [source citations]

Date of death: April 21, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-great dane mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Yes Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Manuel Mejia

Manuel Mejia

49-years old | Miami-Dade County, Florida

Manuel Mejia, 49-years old, was killed by a pack of dogs in southwest Miami-Dade County. Authorities did not release any information to the public until reporters began investigating over 2-weeks after his death. Mejia was a live-in caretaker at a dragon fruit farm in Homestead. On April 23, up to 10 dogs kept by the owner of the farm viciously attacked Mejia. His girlfriend, Pamela Babineau, witnessed the attack and called 911. Mejia was airlifted to Kendall Regional Medical Center where he died of his injuries six hours later. The medical examiner's report showed he suffered severe bite injuries to his head, neck, chest, back and legs, fractured ribs and more. The dogs are described as a female American bulldog and nine Belgium malinois-bulldog mix offspring about 8-months old. Babineau told police three dogs instigated the attack and up to seven others joined in, indicating that all 10 dogs were involved. On November 14, 2016 DogsBite.org submitted two public records requests about this case. [source citations]

Date of death: April 24, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: American bulldog (1)
Belgian malinois-bulldog mix (9)
Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Business owner
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Antoinette Brown

Antoinette Brown

52-years old | Dallas, Texas

Antoinette Brown, 52-years old, suffered catastrophic injury by a pack of loose dogs in southern Dallas on May 2. Police did not confirm the attack until 5 days later. Due to protocol failures between police and Dallas Animal Services (DAS) the dogs were not seized until 4 days later. Antoinette was bitten over 100 times. Her mother, Barbara Brown, said the dogs, "Ate her like they was eating a steak." Doctors placed her into a medically induced coma. She died on May 9 after being removed from life support. DAS and other city officials came under fire after the grisly attack. The city had recently stepped up efforts to combat the longstanding loose dog problem in south Dallas, but it was not enough. Authorities seized seven dogs from 3307 Spring Avenue suspected in the fatal mauling. From July 2013 through September 2015, authorities seized 21 dogs from the same home due to violations. On October 31, 2016 police announced that no charges would be filed because a DNA link could not be established. [source citations]

Date of death: May 9, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix (4)
Rottweiler-mix (1)
Shepherd-mix (1)
Doberman-mix (1)
Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Adonis Reddick

Adonis Reddick

45-years old | St. Louis County, Missouri

Adonis Reddick, 45-years old, was fatally attacked by his own pit bull. He was discovered dead by family members at his home near Spanish Lake. Family members had not heard from him for a few days so they stopped by to check on him. They found him lifeless with bite injuries and his pit bull, named Milow, loose in the house behaving extremely aggressive. St. Louis County police responded to the home and shot and killed the pit bull because police and animal control could not control it. Another dog in the house, a female German shepherd-mix, was taken into custody without incident. The county medical examiner determined that Reddick died of "penetrating and perforating" wounds to the neck, St. Louis County police spokesman Shawn McGuire said. Reddick had developmental disabilities and is remembered as a powerful advocate for others living with disabilities. In 2015, Reddick won a national award, the Self Advocate of the Year Catalyst Award, for his efforts to educate and support others with disabilities. [source citations]

Date of death: May 9, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Earl Wayne Stephens Jr

Earl Stephens Jr.

43-years old | Stockton, California

Earl Stephens Jr., 43-years old, was killed by a pit bull while visiting the dog owner's home in east Stockton. Stephens had gone over to his friend's home to help him repair a scooter in the friend's fenced-in front yard. The men were inside the home when Stephens walked outside to get some cigarettes from his car, according to authorities. As soon as he walked into the front yard, his friend's pit bull, named Harley, viciously attacked him. The dog had reportedly been friendly to Stephens earlier in the day. Sounds from the attack caused his friend and a woman inside the home to rush outside to help. The woman was bitten on her fingers while struggling with the dog. The friend was struck in the head accidentally by a hammer the woman was using on the dog. Stephens' injuries were described as "massive." When deputies arrived, they found Harley in the yard still aggressive. They shot and killed that pit bull. Two younger offspring pit bulls also participated in the attack and were seized by authorities. [source citations]

Date of death: June 4, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (3) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male (primary attacker) Owner of dog: Friend
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal pit bull attack, Hunter Bragg

Hunter Bragg

7-years old | Corinna, Maine

Hunter Bragg, 7-years old, was brutally killed by a pit bull while visiting his father. The attack occurred at the home of Gary Merchant Jr. at 207 Moody's Mill Road in Corinna. Hunter's father, Jason Bragg, was living in a camper on the Merchant property. When Penobscot County first responders arrived on scene, Hunter was already dead. Hunter was playing in the yard with two other children when the pit bull fatally attacked his throat and face. The medical examiner's report said Hunter died of "blunt and sharp force injuries of [his] head and neck." There were eight dogs living on the property at the time of the attack. The 1.5-year old male pit bull, named Koda, previously belonged to the daughter of Merchant's wife since a puppy. She returned the dog to the Merchants in early 2016 after it attacked another dog in her home multiple times, according to the bite report filed by animal control officer Charles Gould after Hunter's death. As of August 26, 2016, no additional information has been released. [source citations]

Date of death: June 4, 2016 Chained: Yes
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Relative
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal dog attack, Erin McCleskey

Erin McCleskey

36-years old | Manor, Texas

Erin McCleskey, 36-years old, was killed by a pack of dogs while serving civil papers to a home in northeast Travis County. McCleskey was an independent contractor for a legal support services provider. On June 15, McCleskey drove to 12316 Fay Street in Manor. She exited her vehicle, leaving it running, and entered the property's front gate. Upon entering, she was attacked by up to six dogs. The medical examiner said that she had been dead for five hours before being discovered. A neighbor, who saw her running car parked in front of the gate, found her body, according to news reports. The dogs' owner, Terry Swanson, was away at the time. Authorities seized six adult dogs, four labrador-mixes and two Australian cattle dog-mixes. There were also 14 puppies in a pen on the property. Justice of the Peace Herb Evans later ordered all six dogs euthanized. He noted in his order, "She didn’t deserve to die, and these animals don’t have a license to kill." As of June 26, 2016, the investigation remains active. [source citations]

Date of death: June 15, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Labrador-mixes (4)
Australian cattle dog-mixes (2)
Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Property owner
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Jocelyn Winfrey

Jocelyn Winfrey

53-years old | New Haven, Connecticut

Jocelyn Winfrey, 53-years old, was mauled to death by two dogs while visiting the dog owner's home. On June 20, Winfrey and Dr. Hamilton Hicks, a resident in psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, returned to his home on Ella T. Grasso Boulevard. After the two stepped inside Hicks' fenced-in yard, his two American bulldog-mixes viciously attacked Winfrey. Hicks tried to intervene, but he could not stop his dogs. Alderman Brian Wingate lives nearby and witnessed part of the attack. He described the scene as "really, really horrific." Another witness said, "Half of her face was basically bitten off. She looked like she was dead." Winfrey underwent cardiac arrest twice while en route to Yale-New Haven Hospital. She lost a leg and both eyes in the attack. On June 27, doctors removed Winfrey from life support and she died. Police arrested Hicks after finding three bags of crack on him at the time of the attack. Dr. Hicks graduated from Harvard in 2001, attended medical school in Miami then began a residency at the Yale School of Medicine. No charges were filed in connection to the fatal attack. [source citations]

Date of death: June 27, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: American bulldog-mix (2) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Friend
Spay/Neuter: No/Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Susie Kirby

Susie Kirby

3-days old | Fresno, California

Susie Kirby, 3-days old, was mauled to death by two family dogs at a home on North Glenn Avenue. The baby was taken to Community Regional Medical Center, where she later died. The baby's' mother had placed the infant on a recliner-type couch and put pillows around her so that she would not fall off, according to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer. Earlier, the mother had propped open the front door to let cooler air inside. When she left the baby to go to the bathroom, she believed her brother's two dogs -- one with a history of aggression -- were tied up outside. However, that was untrue. "While she was in the bathroom," Chief Dyer said, "the dog came through the door, grabbed the infant and took that baby outside." The baby's uncle returned home from the store and found his dogs attacking Susie outside, Dyer said. Both male dogs, described as a mix of Shar-pei and pit bull, were euthanized. Police turned the case over to Child Protection Services for a complete investigation. No charges are anticipated. [source citations]

Date of death: June 27, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-shar pei mix (1)
Shar pei-pit bull mix (1)
Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Uncle
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

Pending: On April 14, the Fresno County Coroner's Office identified a man found dead in an irrigation canal as Valente Lopez Aguirre, 58. The coroner later determined that Aguirre died of an "animal attack." DNA tests were conducted on a group of dogs in connection to his death, but the tests were inconclusive so authorities returned the dogs to the owner. In early July, 74-year old Robert Simonian was discovered dead in the same canal as Aguirre. Police re-impounded the same dogs after the death of Simonian, who died of drowning, but also suffered dog bite injuries.
Fatal pit bull attack, Kayden Begay

Kayden Begay

3-years old | Navajo Nation Reservation, Arizona

Kayden Begay, 3-years old, was struck down by a pack of pit bulls while visiting his paternal grandparent's home in Seba Dalkai. The boy's mother, Kimasha Shorty, told the Navajo Times that her son followed her aunt outside to get the cattle when a pack of pit bulls belonging to a neighbor attacked and killed him. The owner of the dogs, Marlinda Begay, is a relative on Kayden's father's side, the mother said. Kimasha was told his aunt was unaware that Kayden had followed her outside. People in the area had complained to the Navajo Nation Rangers about these dogs attacking livestock before, Shorty said, but no action was ever taken. A report from the Navajo Nation Animal Control Program obtained by the Associated Press confirmed that five dogs killed the boy before officials arrived. Navajo officials shot and killed two dogs on scene and took three others into custody. Those dogs were later euthanized. All five dogs tested negative for rabies. As of July 26, 2016 no other information is known. [source citations]

Date of death: July 14, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (5) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Neighbor/relative
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal pit bull attack, Elizabeth Rivera

Elizabeth Rivera

71-years old | Detroit, Michigan

Elizabeth Rivera, 71-years old, was mauled to death by up to four family pit bulls at her southwest Detroit home in the 2000 block of Ferdinand Street. Sgt. Michael Woody of Detroit Police said a family pit bull attacked the woman, knocking her down then attacked her throat, severing her jugular vein. She died at the scene. Rivera's granddaughter arrived home and discovered her lifeless body on the home's first floor. After an autopsy, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office said that Rivera died of "crush injury to the neck." The manner of death was ruled an accident. Family members said the pit bulls belonged to Rivera's daughter and her daughter's boyfriend. Several years ago, Rivera was severely bitten in the face by a different pit bull owned by the same couple, relatives said. Rivera underwent extensive surgeries and skin grafts after the earlier attack. That pit bull was put down, family members said. On July 16, one or more pit bulls owned by the same family members killed Rivera. [source citations]

Date of death: July 16, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (4) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Daughter
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Crisencio Aliado

Crisencio Aliado

52-years old | Honolulu, Hawaii

Crisencio Aliado, 52-years old, was found bloody and dead on a stream bank in Kalihi, near the Kamehameha Highway on July 29. Aliado was a homeless man, according to reports. Two dogs were discovered at the scene and seized by the Honolulu Police Department. The Honolulu medical examiner ruled that Aliado died due to multiple dog bite injuries. The deadly attack occurred behind a local business, ContainerLand, located at 2312 Kamehameha Highway. The owners of ContainerLand confirmed to news sources that the two dogs in custody at the Hawaiian Humane Society, both pit bull-mixes, belonged to them. The owners claimed their dogs "somehow" escaped the fenced warehouse. A friend of Aliado, Norbert Cardoza, said that Aliado had been washing his clothing in a nearby stream when he was attacked. “He was the most mild-mannered person you could meet. Didn’t bother nobody. Just that he was homeless,” Cardoza said. On August 11, authorities returned both pit bulls to their owners. [source citations]

Date of death: July 29, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix (2) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Business owner
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Michelle Wilcox

Michelle Wilcox

30-years old | Screven County, Georgia

Michelle Wilcox, 30-years old, was mauled to death by her boyfriend's pit bull while visiting his home near Newington. An autopsy conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Wilcox died of injuries inflicted by the dog. No one else was home during the fatal attack, according to a statement issued by the Screven County Sheriff's Office. The boyfriend destroyed the dog, a male pit bull, immediately after discovering the attack. Michelle was familiar with the dogs and had handled them on "numerous occasions in the past," and "none of the dogs in the home had any known history of viciousness or aggression," the statement added. It is later learned, however, that one of the boyfriend's four pit bulls had "some legal charges over an attack," while under the care of its former owner. Michelle was a meat inspector employed by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and studied pre-veterinary medicine at Gainesville State College and animal science at the University of Georgia. [source citations]

Date of death: August 1, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Boyfriend
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Derion Stevenson

Derion Stevenson

9-years old | Las Vegas, Nevada

Derion Stevenson, 9-years old, was killed by a pit bull-mix while visiting a friend's home. Derion had gone to a home on Duck Hill Springs Drive when the pit bull exited the home and attacked him in the throat and face. He was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, where he later died. “This 9-year-old young man was with friends when this incident occurred,” Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Jesse Roybal said. “Not only is this tragic for this young man’s family, but for his friends that had to witness it.” The Clark County coroner’s office said the boy died from blunt force injuries to the neck and head. His death was ruled an accident. The 3-year old unaltered male pit bull, named Left Eye, was euthanized the next day. 3-weeks before the deadly attack, Left Eye attacked a pet dog being walked in the neighborhood. At that time, Clark County animal control officials did not declare the dog dangerous or vicious. They said the incident was "not serious enough." [source citations]

Date of death: August 17, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Friend
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal dog attack, Michael Downing

Michael Downing

83-years old | Jacksonville, Florida

Michael Downing, 83-years old, was brutally killed by up to four dogs. Police believe the dogs escaped their yard through a hole in the fence, attacked the man then dragged him back under the fence. The man was discovered dead and dismembered along the fence line inside the dog owner's backyard. The fence line divides the parking lot of the Franklin Arms Apartments, where the victim lived, and the dog owner's backyard. Witnesses said Downing was taking out trash to the dumpster when the dogs attacked him. The owner of the dogs, Lephus Felton, 52, blamed the victim for the attack, alleging, "He was antagonizing my dogs." Felton said one of his dogs is a rottweiler and the other three are part rottweiler, German shepherd and chow. Two of the dogs are parents of the two younger dogs. Felton was away when the attack occurred, when he returned, a woman told him his dogs killed someone in his backyard. Authorities confiscated all four dogs. As of September 17, 2016, no charges have been filed. [source citations]

Date of death: August 19, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Rottweiler (1)
Mixed breed (3)
Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal pit bull attack, Susan Shawl

Susan Shawl

60-years old | Conifer, Colorado

Susan Shawl, 60-years old, was killed by her two family pit bulls at her home on Black Widow Drive. The pit bulls belonged to her son, 36-year old Richard Shawl, who also lives at the home. Jefferson County sheriff's deputies responded to a dog attack about 7 pm. They arrived to Susan badly mauled, "barely conscious" and heavily bleeding. They tried to keep her alive using a tourniquet as medical responders rushed in. Initially, a medical helicopter was called to the scene, but was later cancelled. Susan died at the scene. The dogs also attacked their owner. Richard suffered non-life-threatening injuries trying to help his mother. He was transported to a local hospital. The family had owned the pit bulls for at least 8-years. In 2008, Jefferson County Animal Control issued a warning citation to Richard about his dogs being "loose and aggressive." Just after the deadly attack, a photo of the two family pit bulls appearing calm and idyllic from Richard's Facebook page was featured on many news stories. [source citations]

Date of death: August 29, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Son
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Baby Jane Doe

Baby Jane Doe

6-days old | College Station, Texas

Baby Jane Doe, 6-days old, died after being attacked by a family dog in Brazos County. The only news report of this infant's death was reported by Rusty Surette of KBTX on September 23, 2016, nearly one month later. The report by Surette stated only that the infant died after an "incident" with the family dog and did not state if the baby died due to a dog bite. Surette also failed to answer this basic question after our nonprofit asked him twice in two separate emails. To confirm whether the infant was a dog bite-related fatality, we sent public information requests to three separate Texas agencies: Brazos County Health Department, Texas Department of State Health Services (Temple) and the College Station Police Department. According to the "front page" of the police report, the only page we were able to access, the victim suffered an "animal attack," the injuries are described as "punctures and lacerations through skull" and the victim was deceased. No other information was released. [source citations]

Date of death: September 1, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Unknown Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Family member
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Piper Dunbar

Piper Dunbar

2-years old | Topeka, Kansas

Piper Dunbar, 2-years old, was found dead in her front yard by a search-and-rescue team. Topeka police Lt. Bryan Wheeles attributed her death to a dog attack. Authorities seized two dogs that were in a fenced-in area at the home. Police identified both dogs as pit bulls. The animals belonged to Margaret Jaramillo (Johnson), a family friend who was temporarily staying at the home. Piper was first reported missing Saturday at about 8 pm. Her father, Donnie Dunbar, said she slipped away when he fell asleep. Topeka Police responded to 814 SE Carnahan Avenue and began going door-to-door in the neighborhood. Officers found Piper in the northeast corner of her front yard. Dunbar said that when police located his daughter they tackled him. Both Dunbar and Jaramillo were taken by police to the Law Enforcement Center for questioning. Information from the interrogations was submitted to Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor’s office for review. Authorities euthanized both pit bulls. [source citations]

Date of death: September 24, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Family friend
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal dog attack, Kiyana McNeal

Kiyana McNeal

4-years old | Sherman Township, Michigan

Kiyana McNeal, 4-years old, was killed by a dog she had known less than an hour. The child's mother, Jacey McNeal Wolkins, had been searching for a new family dog after her previous dog died of cancer. The new dog arrived on October 23, 2016 -- a man from Illinois drove his doberman-type dog to their home. The former owner stayed with Kiyana and her mother for 30 to 45 minutes, as they got acquainted with the new dog, then departed for Illinois. About 5 minutes after he left, Jacey called the man for unknown reasons and asked him to return, according to family members. Before he returned, the dog attacked Kiyana in the neck as she tried to give the animal a dog biscuit. The man returned while the dog was attacking Kiyana and her mother was struggling to get the large dog away from Kiyana. He carried the child outside and began CPR on the little girl. Emergency responders tried to resuscitate Kiyana, but she died on scene. No charges were brought and the dog's previous owner was never named. [source citations]

Date of death: October 23, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Doberman-mix Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Mother/Seller
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Isaiah Franklin

Isaiah Jacob Franklin

6-years old | Huntington, West Virginia

Isaiah Jacob Franklin, 6-years old, was fatally attacked by a family pit bull in his home in the 2600 block of 9th Avenue in Huntington. Scanner traffic reports at the time of the attack indicated Isaiah suffered severe injuries to his head and neck and the dog remained aggressive when first responders arrived. He was transported to Cabell Huntington Hospital where he died of his injuries. Family members said the 3-year old male pit bull, named Tiny, belonged to his mother's boyfriend and that it attacked the child without provocation or warning. Two adults where in the room with Isaiah as he finished up playing a video game when the dog suddenly attacked; his mother was in the next room. The dog had been living in the household for about a year, according to his mother. Photographs of the dog posted to social media showed the dog was unneutered. The family also owned a female pit bull that was uninvolved in the attack. Both dogs were taken into custody by animal control. No charges are anticipated. [source citations]

Date of death: December 2, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Mother's boyfriend
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal dog attack, David Fear

David Fear

64-years old | Grover Beach, California

David Fear, 64-years old, was viciously attacked by a police officer's "personal" dogs after they escaped their owner's property. The main attacker, a Belgian malinois, first attacked his neighbor, 85-year old Betty Long. Fear intervened to save her life and suffered critical dog bite injuries, including two arteries in his arms being severed, contributing to him losing six pints of blood. Long suffered dog bite injuries and multiple broken bones from falling. Fear died of his injuries three days later. The city of Grover Beach refused to release the officer's name for nine days. On January 4, 2017, The Tribune published an exclusive article, detailing officer Alex Geiger's previous employment and that his malinois was a trained police K-9. The dog was dual-certified in narcotics detection and patrol work -- obedience, search, apprehension and handler protection (bite work). Geiger was the dog's handler and part of the city of Exeter's K-9 unit from September 2015 to August 2016. Geiger began working for Grover Beach, which has no K-9 unit, one month later. As of January 8, 2017, no charges have been filed. [source citations]

Date of death: December 16, 2016 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Belgian malinois (1)
German shepherd (1)
Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male/Unknown Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Pending

Additional victims

Deaths involving non-dog bite injury, minor dog bite injury or cases that lacked a "reasonably clear" determination of death due to dog bite injury are not included in DogsBite.org statistical fatality data. Victims falling into the latter category may be added at a future time.
  1. DogsBite.org contains verifiable information about U.S. citizens killed by dogs including the name and age of each victim, location of attack, dog breed and up to 18 other factors. Information was gathered through news reports that were available at the time of the attack or found through Internet archival services. Each fatality also lists "source citations," which links to its related citations.
  2. There were two male dogs and two females. One of the female dogs was pregnant at the time of the attack. Otherwise, no other information was provided about spay or neuter status.