LUMBERTON, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina mother of a boy who died in a pit bull attack on Sunday says she’s devastated by the incident.
Talan West, age 7, and his 8-year-old brother Jaylan were among four children chased and attacked by a group of dogs around 11:30 a.m. Sunday near their home on Odum Road in Lumberton
Talan was taken to the hospital, but died. The pit bull tore Jaylan’s lower leg and he now has stitches.
“I’m hurt, I keep feel like I’m trying to figure out what I could have done different,” mom Jamie West said while she struggled through tears on Monday.
The attack happened as Talan West and three of his siblings were playing in a field behind their home when they say three dogs came running after them.
“When we tried to run, we cut through the field and went to the house,” said Jaylan.
Jaylan says he jumped on top of a nearby car, but his younger brother Talan could not get away.
“One (dog) was on that leg, one (dog) was on that leg – the big one just all over his face biting him up,” Jaylan recalled of the attack on his brother.
The property owner declined to speak on camera but says he believes the kids somehow aggravated the dogs.
One of the dogs, a pit bull, eventually tackled Talan.
“It broke his neck but it took pretty much (took) the entire back of his neck off and that’s when he died,” said mom Jamie West, who continued crying.
The attack Sunday is Robeson County’s fifth death involving a pit bull in the last five years.
William Smith with the Robeson County Health Department said people must remember that dogs are unpredictable. Smith said if confronted by a dog, do you best not to get pulled down.
“If you get pulled down, the dog is too massive, you’re not going to get back up so you’ve got to do whatever it takes,” Smith said.
Jaylan survived the attack although he now has nine stitches in his calf muscle, which was torn in the attack.
“It doesn’t feel fair at all, it don’t since I left the hospital last night, I didn’t even get a chance to hold my baby,” said mom Jamie West.
Despite the tragedy, Talan is remembered as smart and full of love.
“He always smiled, but he’s in a better place now,” said another brother, Steven West.
Officials say the dog involved died at the scene due to over excitement from the attack.
The dog owner has not been charged yet.
Talan West‘s parents were also told by DSS that they cannot have any unsupervised visits with their children while authorities investigate.