Deputy shoots pit bull attacking child

EDGEWOOD, Md. (WMAR) - You have to look close at Noah Larkin's face to see the bruise on his face and the blood on his shirt.  Tonight he the 11-year-old was attacked by a pitbull.

Neighbors say the dog, known as Smokes and his pregnant mate are both blue nosed pit bulls.  According to residents they got out of their fenced in yard and were roaming around an  Edgewood community just hours before the male was shot five times by a Harford County Sherrif's deputy after the dog charged at the officer.

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Harford County Sheriff's Spokesperson Monica Worrell says the deputies responded to a neighborhood complaint and witnessed aggressive behavior in the dog prior to the shooting.

When deputies arrived they saw the dog attacking the boy. The male dog then turned to the deputy and charged at him. The deputy shot the dog 5 times, killing him.

Neighbor Nicole Harrison is relieved she says its now to bring her dog, Buddy, back near St. Michaels Court where the attack occurred.

"I'm not surprised at all, that dog is vicious," Harrison says. "That would be anybody's first reaction would be to shoot that dog."

On the other hand, neighbor Kimberly Betts is angry. The victims sister says the officer over-reacted and neither of the dogs were vicious.

"I was in the middle of the road screaming not to shoot the dog, because I knew he was protecting the female dog," Betts said.

Britton Buie lives next door to where the dogs stayed he says the owner had moved out, but the dogs were still here alone in the backyard.

Harrison says with all the children living  here with Smokes gone tonight the neighborhood is a much safer place.

"It's horrible, its horrific.  Thank God the child is okay.  It could have been the other way," said Britton.

Animal Control was at the house tonight, but it is unclear if the family was allowed to keep the other dog or not. 

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