BOSTON (WHDH) - An off-duty Boston police officer who opened fire on a pit bull in Boston on Wednesday as it “viciously mauled” an 11-year-old boy is being credited with saving the child’s life.
The officer sprang into action, jumped a number of fences, and opened fire after seeing the pit bull biting the child on the head, neck, arm, and groin around 12 p.m. on Rock Terrace in Dorchester, Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross said during a news conference. The gunshots scared the animal off.
The boy was rushed to a local hospital, where he was taken into surgery for his injuries. The officer was also taken to the hospital as a precaution.
Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins noted that the child was “harmed significantly” but officials are “hopeful” he will pull through.
Both Gross and Rollins commended the officer for saving the boy’s life, noting that the outcome could have been very different if he didn’t act quickly.
“Thank God the officer was there to intervene because if he didn’t, the dog was going to continue to attack this child,” Gross told reporters. “He did the right thing…Above and beyond the call of duty.”
Family members identified the boy as Bramwell Rodriguez, saying in a statement that they are grateful for the officer who saved his life.
“The Rodrigues Rojas family is grateful for the police hero who rescued our son Bramwell. May God pour out all the blessings on his and this family,” said Moises Rodriguez, the victim’s father. “My heart is grateful that all the police officers have done a great job.”
Two dogs have since been removed from the home. One of them was held back during the attack.
It’s not clear if the dog in question was struck by the gunfire.
A local resident who has been frightened by the dogs in the past shared surveillance video with 7NEWS that showed the dogs running around the neighborhood with their leashes dragging behind them.
“They were not leashed and they were not supposed to be left outside like that,” the woman explained.
Police say they have received several calls for unleashed dogs on Rock Terrace in the past.
No charges have been filed and police have not made any arrests.
An investigation remains ongoing.
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