4-year-old boy killed in dog attack while playing in his backyard in Detroit

DETROIT — A 4-year-old boy playing in his backyard Wednesday afternoon was fatally mauled by one or two dogs, Detroit police said.

The attack occurred just before 3 p.m. on the city’s west side, Cpl. Dan Donakowski said.

“We’re not sure if it’s one or two dogs, but Animal Control has two dogs in custody,” Donakowski said. “It’s believed that the dogs belonged to a neighbor behind where the victim lived, but as far as how it happened, we’re unsure at this time.”

The dogs were believed to be pit bulls or pit bull mixes, police told local news outlets.

Police Cmdr. Arnold Williams told reporters at the scene “we’re trying to do everything that we can just to help everybody through this.”

“The loss of a child who hasn’t really started their life is just something huge that nobody can really even fathom,” Williams said.

An adult was at home with the child, police said.

“This reminds everybody, if you do have a dog to secure your dog to make sure your dog can’t get out. That’s the most important thing.” Williams said.