INDIANAPOLIS — Police are still investigating a Marion County sheriff's deputy's death after a dog bit her and her son at a home on the east side of Indianapolis Tuesday night.
Just before 8 p.m. Tuesday night, IMPD said Tamieka White was killed by an aggressive dog at a home in the 1700 block of Forsythia Drive, near East 16th Street and North Franklin Road.
Neighbors tell us the attack happened in the backyard, which is surrounded by a wooden fence.
"It's very rare that you have a dog attack that results in death," said Major Mike Leepper with IMPD.
White was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her 8-year-old son managed to escape the home with minor injuries. One neighbor 13News spoke to, who didn't want to give their name, said they saw the child run out the front door.
"He was in shock. He kept repeating several things over and over concerning his mom," the neighbor said. "He wanted people to look at his injury, he kept saying that. It was underneath the clothing, so the paramedics and everybody took care of that."
This neighbor believes White was protecting her son from the aggressive dog.
"Makes you think that maybe she was trying to intervene in what happened," the neighbor said.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office, where White had been employed since 2007, confirmed that.
"First and foremost, Deputy White was a mother," said White's commander, Brittany Seligman, with the sheriff's office. "She died last night protecting the most important person in her life."
The Marion County Sheriff's Office said White was a 17-year deputy.
"You never saw her without a smile on her face and she would do anything to help her friends, her family and her fellow deputies," Seligman said.
IMPD is now tasked with investigating the attack. Neighbors 13News spoke with said the aggressive dogs weren't familiar.
"Some type of pit bull mix," a neighbor said. "They weren't there before, so she was dogsitting, and I talked to her the day before, and she confirmed that she was dogsitting and that she was going to fix the fence."
And neighbors said the dogs have broken through the fence before.
"They had been loose a couple times over the past weekend," the neighbor said.
13News reached out to Animal Care Services about any recent calls they had near this address. In a statement, they said:
"An Indianapolis Animal Care Services Animal Control Officer did respond around 3 pm Saturday to a report of two loose and aggressive dogs in that area. The officer found two dogs in front of the address, a broken fence, and a third dog in the backyard.
An individual identifying themselves as a friend of the owner then approached the officer and the officer was able to make contact with the owner by phone. The officer educated both individuals about the City's at-large ordinance and proceeded to warn the owner that they'd receive a citation if the dogs got loose again.
The officer also informed both parties that the dogs would need to be on a leash or tethered until the fence was fixed."