Officials in Indiana said a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy was killed while she was protecting her 8-year-old son from a dog attack. According to the Indianapolis Star, the fatal incident occurred on Tuesday night at the home of Tamieka White, 46.
White, who served as a sheriff’s deputy for almost 17 years, was pronounced dead not too long after Indianapolis police officers arrived at her residence. The attacking dog is said to have also bitten the deceased woman’s 8-year-old son. However, the injuries the minor sustained were non-life-threatening.
“She died last night protecting the most important person in her life,” White’s commander at the Sheriff’s Office, Brittany Seligman, said after the fatal attack. One of the officers who responded to the scene shot and killed the attacking dog after it aggressively rushed toward them, Indianapolis police said.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said White had been working at the agency’s Judicial Enforcement Division since 2007. The division is in charge of transporting inmates to-and-from courts, as well as collecting delinquent taxes and serving legal process papers, the Indianapolis Star reported.
“Deputy White was a bright light to all that knew her,” Sheriff Kerry Forestal said in a statement. “We are immensely grateful for her nearly 17 years of service to our agency.”
An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson said White was not the owner of the attacking dog, adding that the owner has since been identified by authorities. The Indianapolis Animal Care Services also said the deceased attacking dog, as well as three other dogs and a cat, were impounded from the home, following the fatal incident.
The department said that though it would take a DNA test to determine their actual breeds, it seemed the four dogs were “pitbull-type.” A law enforcement source also said White was dogsitting the attacking dog as well as three other dogs at the time of the attack, WTTV reported. She owned one of the four dogs.