Dog shot, killed after attacking elderly woman in Cordova

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis police say a neighbor shot and killed a pit bull after it attacked an elderly woman and her dog in Cordova Saturday morning.

It wasn’t the way anyone in the peaceful neighborhood expected to start their morning – hearing gunshots and seeing a pit bull laying dead on the sidewalk.

“It was pretty loud," one neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, said of the gunfire.

“I just seen the police and the dog laying there, and three or four people gathered round," said neighbor Terry Mitchell, who lives across the street from where it happened.

Police say the dog charged at and attacked the woman and her small Yorkie terrier on Old Post Road around 11 a.m. while they were on a morning walk.

“She walks around a lot," one neighbor said. "I’ve seen her walking with her dog quite often.”

When another neighbor heard the commotion, police say he came outside and fired four shots at the pit bull, hitting it at least twice.

“He probably saved her life," Mitchell said. "If the pit bull was already in attack mode, he probably saved her life.”

Mitchell was just coming home from work when he saw the aftermath. He described seeing several officers on his block, and the woman – who neighbors believe is in her 70s or 80s – sitting on a curb holding her tiny dog.

“She looked like she was in pain," he said.

Memphis Animal Services arrived about an hour later, loaded the pit bull’s body into a van and took it away.

The dog had a collar, but no tags.

Police still don’t know who it belonged to, and neighbors didn’t recognize it, either.

“I don’t know if the dog is from this neighborhood or did he get out?" Mitchell said.

Police say the woman will be fine. She has some scratches and minor bite wounds to one of her hands, but is otherwise OK.

Neighbors tell WREG the Yorkie looked like it had been hurt, but would be fine.

“I hope to see her soon walking her dog around [soon]," one neighbor said.

Police say the man who shot the pit bull had a valid handgun permit and won’t face any charges.

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