Two dogs involved in a deadly attack on an elderly couple in a West San Antonio, Texas, residential neighborhood Friday afternoon and a third from the same property will be euthanized by Animal Care Services, officials said.
San Antonio Police Department said the incident left an 81-year-old man dead and three others injured, including a woman in critical condition at University Hospital. The owner of the dogs has also been arrested, San Antonio police said.
A press release from the San Antonio Animal Care Services and the police department said: “Animal Care Services has identified three owned dogs either directly involved in the attack or who were off property at the time. All three dogs are in SAACS custody and will be euthanized tonight.”
The dogs were identified as American Staffordshire Terriers, according to Animal Care Services Director Shannon Sims.
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“Witnesses indicate the dogs had broken through the front gate of their nearby home just before the incident,” the press release read.
San Antonio Fire Captain Charles Hood said in a press conference Friday the couple was walking on a sidewalk around 2 p.m. in the 2800 block of Depla Street, on their way to visit a relative’s home when they were attacked “as they stepped out of their vehicle.”
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Firefighters had to “fight off” at least two Staffordshire Terriers with pickaxes and pipe poles to get to the victims in what he called a “horrific scene.”
Firefighters saw a “gentleman being dragged by a dog. They could see him completely bloodied before they got off of the truck,” Hood said.
He said one firefighter was bitten on his leg but is expected to be OK. Another person reported being bitten on the hand.
“Nobody expects to go out and fight dogs in a situation like they did today,” Hood added.
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Earlier Friday afternoon, Sims said the dogs had been impounded two years ago for a “mild bite,” and neighbors have repeatedly complained about neglect on the owners’ part.
“Those bites were mild. So those animals finished their state-required quarantine, and the owner played paid reclaim fees, and by state law, we were required to return those animals,” Sims said, SBG San Antonio reported.
Local councilwoman Teri Castillo expressed her condolences to the victim’s family and thanked emergency responders for their bravery.
“With a heavy heart, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of the individual who tragically lost their life today. I wish the individual who is currently being treated at University Hospital and the firefighter who sustained an injury a speedy recovery,” Castillo said, per SBG San Antonio. “And, to those who are now grieving over this tragic event, we are sending strength to the neighbors who may need emotional support after witnessing this horrific event.”
She added: “I would like to thank the emergency responders who arrived at the scene as soon as they could.”
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Fox News Digital has reached out to the San Antonio fire and police departments.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.