A 15-year-old boy died after he was reportedly attacked by three pit bulls after he entered a backyard in Irving, Texas.
Nelson Cabrera entered the backyard of a home at around 4:45 a.m. on Aug. 10 before he was attacked by three dogs that belonged to the homeowner, reported Fox4.
Officers responded to the scene and had to jump over a wooden fence to try and stop the attack. The pit bulls turned their attention to the officers, forcing them to fire shots at the dogs to protect themselves and the teen, who didn’t live at the home.
— WFAA (@wfaa) August 11, 2019
Cabrera later died from his injuries after he was taken to a local hospital, according to the Fox affiliate report.
Police said that the dogs were secure in their own yard when the teen entered, WFAA reported.
Guillermo Lorenzo, the owner of the dogs, said the dogs were protecting their home, adding that Cabrera shouldn’t have been there.
“Nobody has the right to be in this yard,” Lorenzo told WFAA, adding that he had car parts and tools in the backyard. The dogs were there to protect his property, he said.
Police said that one of the dogs, Bella, was shot, and one officer was bitten by one of the dogs. The three pit bulls were taken to the Irving Animal Shelter, said officials.
“Bella was shot in the mouth will have to be put down,” Lorenzo said.
Officials said on Aug. 11 that Bella was euthanized due to its injuries.
“She did what she’s supposed to do,” Lorenzo said.
Police department spokesperson Robert Reeves said that the officers acted in an appropriate manner.
“The split millisecond that the victim is being attacked by the dog and the officers are seeing that, whether or not that victim was supposed to be on that property or those dogs are supposed to be in that back yard, is all irrelevant,” Reeves was quoted by the news outlet as saying. “At that point, those officers are just trying to save the life of that victim.”
Lorenzo told NBC DFW that he was asleep during the attack, but he added that he recognized Cabrera from an earlier encounter.
“He told me he’s homeless and I wanted to help him out, actually,” he explained.
A spokesperson with the department added to the NBC affiliate that officials are not sure why the teen was in Lorenzo’s backyard in the early morning hours.
Rosy Cabrera, who is believed to the teen’s grandmother, posted photos of her relative on Facebook.
“The happiest days of my life with my beautiful child, thank God for giving me these beautiful moments,” she said, according to the Daily Mail.
Elizabeth Cantu, Lorenzo’s neighbor, told the Dallas Morning News that she heard a commotion outside during the early-morning attack.
“I heard yelling, I heard dogs,” Cantu said. “I jumped out of bed and ran outside … and I could immediately tell those dogs were attacking someone.”
Cantu, 32, said that she tried to wake up Lorenzo by honking her truck’s horn to get his attention. She said she heard the teen escape the dogs and bang on the back door before the dogs attacked again.
Cantu said that Lorenzo had previously told her his dogs are “not nice” and can be aggressive.
“I’m scared of those dogs, I am,” she said, adding that one of the dogs attempted to dig into her back yard.