LOWELL, Mass. (WHDH) – A Lowell community is trying to come to grips with the death of a young boy killed by a pair of dogs in a tragic attack over the weekend.
A vigil was held Sunday night for the 7-year-old boy at the scene of the fatal attack. Neighbors could be seen bringing flowers, balloons and lighting candles on Monday as a memorial honoring the child continued to grow.
A ball the boy was playing with rolled into a fenced area and the child went in after it, according to witnesses. Two 100-pound pit bulls then went after the boy and mauled him to death.
“He jumped into the fence and wanted to pat the dogs and I guess he went to grab for a toy or something,” the victim’s great-aunt Michelle Reedy said. “They attacked him.”
Reedy says the boy was “very lovable” and an animal lover. He attended the Bartlett School near his home, where Reedy said he was a straight-A student.
“He’s a good kid. He gets all A’s in school,” said Reedy. “I’m really shocked right now.”
Police responded to a report of an injured child at the home at around 6 p.m. Saturday and found the boy dead.
“There’s really nothing we could do with two 100-pound pit bulls. They had him by the neck and legs,” said witness David Swiniarski.
Authorities said one of the pit bulls escaped after the attack before being captured and later euthanized. The other pit bull is in the custody of the city’s animal control.
“They should have been muzzled or tied up really good,” Reedy said of the dogs.
The victim has not been identified. No charges have been filed against the dog owners but Reedy said they should face consequences.
After a series of pit bull attacks in 2011, city leaders in Lowell passed an ordinance that put restrictions on owning a pit bull. A year later, Massachusetts passed legislation that prohibited regulations based on breed. Lowell City Councilman Rodney Elliot said it is now time to push for a pit bull ban again, calling the state legislation too broad.
“We knew we had a problem back in 2011 and the city council did its job,” said Elliot. “Let communities who have issues deal with it and if we want to ban it to protect the people in this city, then we should be allowed to do it.”
Elliot said he plans bringing up the ban at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.