Man dies after pit bull attack - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man dies after pit bull attack

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The two dogs were loose near Poplar and Manassas. The two dogs were loose near Poplar and Manassas.
The dogs were captured after they attacked five people, including an elderly man and two paramedics. The dogs were captured after they attacked five people, including an elderly man and two paramedics.
MEMPHIS, TN -

By Jamel Major and Janice Broach

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - One person died after two pit bulls got loose and attacked several people late Tuesday morning near Poplar and Manassas.

According to witnesses, three people, including an elderly man, were attacked by pit bulls that were loose in the area.  Additionally, two paramedics were attacked by the dogs when they were called to the scene to aid the victims.

"I'm very shocked," witness Lisa Stringfellow said. "I'm so nervous right now, I can hardly talk no more."

Action News 5 was on the scene just moments after the attack.  Officials said William Parker and his daughter, 25-year-old Gardenia Parker, were two of the adults bitten by the animals.

"He was in pretty bad shape," said Alvin Benson, Director of Fire Services for the city of Memphis.

Parker's wife, Bessie Mae, was the one who called 911.

"I told them my husband was being attacked by some dogs," she said. "My husband is dead."

Family members said William was walking to the store when he was attacked.  When Gardenia ran to help him, she was also bitten.

In addition to bites, William Parker also reportedly suffered a heart attack.  Officials have not confirmed his cause of death.

Lisa Stringfellow said the dogs also bit her brother.

"They say it ate his arm up," she said.

When paramedics arrived they were also attacked.

"There was one at the scene with the body, and one was fighting the dogs trying to keep them off the other guy," witness Joseph Gaines said.

"In our attempt to rescue the patient, our persons were attacked as well," Benson said.

As police officers held their shotguns at the ready, animal control officers worked diligently to capture both dogs.

"I just thank God it wasn't me," Stringfellow said.

Neighbors said the dogs chased another man on Sunday, who jumped on top of a car and stood for more than 30 minutes.

"He was hollering, saying somebody get his gun so he can shoot them," neighbor Virginia Taylor said.

Taylor said police showed up after someone called them.

"I told them those dogs was vicious," she said.

Neighbors said police did not remove the dogs, but instead arrested the man with them for violation of the sex offender act.  That man has been behind bars since Sunday.  It is not clear who was looking after the dogs.

"I want the people to suffer," Bessie Mae Parker said. "The ones that got the dogs. I want them to go to jail. I want the police to pay something because they should have picked those dogs up."

Click here to watch RAW VIDEO of the dogs being captured by Animal Control officers.

Check back for updates on this story.

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