By Megan Boatwright

Channel 3 Eyewitness News Reporter

MCMINN COUNTY (WRCB) --  An 85-year old woman is dead Saturday after being mauled by the family pet.  According to police it took bullets from 2 deputies and a neighbor to finally subdue the dog.

"It jumped out of the car and I actually helped her get it back in the car," says neighbor Brandon Russell, describing an encounter he had with the dog.  "It was a real friendly dog." 

But Saturday at 151 County 492 in McMinn County, a pit-bull that had been part of the family for 9-years attacked and killed.

"I talked to the family members today, and the woman who owns the home," says Russell.  "I told her I was very sorry about what happened." 

It was the 85-year-old mother of the woman who owns the home that was attacked.  Family members told Channel 3 off camera that she lives at the home.  However, the dog is usually kept outside so the elderly woman was not used to being around the pet. 

Family members told police they were working in the yard Saturday morning when the attack happened inside.

"The daughter of the deceased came running out and got a neighbor,"  says detective, Eric Allman, with the McMinn County Sheriff's Office..  "She gave him a gun and told him to shoot the dog.  All that did was back the dog away a little."

Family members say they believe noise from construction work to the roof is what caused the dog to become aggressive enough to attack.

"When the first deputy arrived he went inside," says Allman.  "The dog was still aggressive at that point.  He fired on the dog." 

It took two police officers and many rounds to finally kill the animal.  Russell says when he talked to family members soon after the incident they were beside themselves with grief.

"The daughter said she blames herself but it wasn't her fault," the neighbor says. 

Police say every effort was made to rescue the 85-year-old, but she had already succumbed to her injuries.

The McMinn County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident.  Detective Allman says he doesn't expect any charges to be filed.


MCMINN COUNTY, TN (WRCB)-- McMinn County Sheriff's Officers responded to a tragic incident Saturday morning after an 85-year-old female was killed by a family-owned pit bull.

Police say Mattie Daugherty was killed after her nine-year-old pit bull attacked her inside her home around 11:45. The family told police that the dog would not allow anyone to approach Daugherty and that a neighbor had attempted to shoot it.

Officers Randy Gabrel and Tim Davis entered the home and also fired their weapons several times in attempt to rescue the victim.

Officer Gabrel risked his own safety and was able to remove the victim from the animal, and additional shots were fired by Officer Davis to finally subdue the dog. 

Although every effort had been made to rescue the Daugherty, it was apparent that she had already passed away due to her severe wounds.

MCSO officers and detectives secured the scene and investigated the incident. No charges have been filed.

"This is a sad and tragic incident that bears little explanation," says Sheriff Guy. "It was an unfortunate accident involving an animal that the family had owned for many years and had never had problems with. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they go through this difficult time."