Neighborhood mourns 7-year-old boy mauled to death by pit bulls

LOWELL, Mass. — A Lowell neighborhood is mourning the death of a 7-year-old boy who was mauled to death by two pit bulls over the weekend.

MORE: Family and friends hold vigil for 7-year-old killed by dogs in Lowell

The horrific situation unfolded Saturday night on Clare Street where the boy and the owner of the pit bulls lived several houses apart.

MORE: 7-year-old mauled to death by dog in Lowell

“To have a dog not controlled, it’s only a 7-year-old,” a neighbor said. “And what I was hearing the dog didn’t want to let go. What kind of person would have a dog that’s not tamed enough?”

The two pit bulls were in a fenced enclosure at a home on the same street where the boy lived.

"He was very love able, very hyper active. But he loved people and he loved animals,” Michelle Reedy, who told Boston 25 News she is the boy's aunt, said.

A mother who has a son the same age as the victim told Boston 25 News Monday morning that that he heard about the tragedy over the weekend.

She said neighbors told her that the boy would pet the dogs through the holes in the chain link fence, but on Saturday night he went into the enclosure to retrieve a ball when he was killed.

Records of the 911 call with a Lowell Police officer describe the horrific situation:

OPERATOR: Clare Street getting multiple 911 calls, a child’s being attacked by some sort of animal
OPERATOR: Lowell can you head that way too? Apparently the dog will not let go of the child.
OFFICER: Lowell, get the paramedic over here

Police arrived at the scene and tried to get the animals to let the boy go.

“My girlfriend was inside and she said she heard a gunshot,” a neighbor said. “She thought someone got shot.”

It was one of the pit bulls that was shot. But even then, that didn’t stop the attack. The 911 call detailed what happened as the pit bull went after the officer.

OFFICER: Lowell, shots fired, the dog is hit, it’s still coming at me.

Police removed both dogs from the scene. Neighbors are still trying to understand how something like this could happen.

“The kid went into the fence, as sad as that is,” a neighbor said. “The dogs didn’t jump out of the fence to go after him. The kid just made a horrible mistake.”

On Sunday night, friends and family held a vigil in the driveway where the attack occurred. A neighbor, who was identified by others as the owner of the pit bulls, left a candle on the front porch.