Two women identified as Beverly Wright, 48, and Irene Parker, 73, were walking with a church group, conducting door-to-door ministry in the 2000 block of North Lewis Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, around 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. One of the women knocked on the door to a home and a Pit Bull inside burst out and viciously attacked them without warning.
The house had a sign in the window, “Beware of Dog,” but officials are not sure if the women saw the sign.
Officers believe the victims only survived because of a man who heard their screams.
The aftermath of the horrible attack was still evident in a news video that afternoon (below)—there was blood still in the grass and wrappers and packaging for bandages and syringes, where paramedics sought to save the women’s lives.
Mike Harrell, who was working nearby, said he heard a commotion and, "All of a sudden, a blood-curdling scream.”
He said he immediately jumped into his truck and drove over to find the Pit Bull attacking two women in front of the home. One woman wasn't moving and the other was being mauled savagely, he told Newon6.com.
"He was just biting her and biting her, her calves, her face, her stomach—just everywhere, non-stop," Harrell said, "it was horrible.”
Harrell said the owner was also in the yard, hysterical and holding a bat she had used to try to beat her dog off the women. A witness said the dog was not responding to any of the owner’s commands.
"When you walk up and you truly see that terror in someone's face, it immediately changes you, and you immediately freeze or you react," Harrell said.
Harrell said he grabbed his gun and distracted the dog by yelling and opening the gate.
"The dog lets go and it made eye contact, then it just bolted straight towards me," Harrell said.
He said he asked the owner if he could shoot the dog. She said “yes,” he fired once, killing the pit bull instantly, he told reporters.
Harrell has had his gun license for four years, but never shot his gun in public until this incident, he said.
"It was the humane thing to do," said neighbor Lance Snider. "In fact, if I would have had a gun on me right then, I would have done something."
Snider told Fox23 News, “I always knew the dog was feisty and she told us before to be careful when we came in because she didn't know what he would really do.” Snider was the witness who called 911.
"You just don't see dogs that get that violent," Snider said.
Tulsa Animal Control removed the dog's body and will send samples to a laboratory for rabies testing. The manager said her department isn't aware of any prior reports on this Pit Bull.
Director of Tulsa Animal Welfare Jean Letcher said a warning sign is not enough to offer a dog legal protection. However, she added, people have a responsibility to be cautious when they enter someone else’s property.
"The owner has a level of protection because the animal was confined,” Letcher told reporters, “ it wasn’t roaming the neighborhood when it attacked.”
"Just because they don't see a dog, dog droppings, dishes, doesn't mean that an animal is not present and then if you enter someone’s property very much at their own risk,” she said.
FOX23 News reported speaking to Jehovah’s Witness members who says they work in groups of two, avoid homes with “no trespassing, keep out and beware of dog” signs. They also keep track of homes to avoid and share with other members.
Both women are hospitalized. Wright is in fair condition and Parker is in serious condition, according to police officials.