An Indiana sheriff’s deputy was killed as she tried to protect her eight-year-old son when a dog they were looking after attacked them at their home.
Deputy Tamieka White, 46, was pronounced dead shortly after Indianapolis police responded to her home in the city on Wednesday evening and found her body. She was a longtime Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy and had served with the force since 2007.
The dog was fatally shot by a responding officer when it charged at them, according to The Indianapolis Star.
White’s son was bitten in the attack and is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.
“She died last night protecting the most important person in her life,” said Brittany Seligman, White’s commander at the Sheriff’s Office.
The agency described White as a “ bright light to everyone” and said that she would be “missed by all who knew her.”
“It is with great sadness that the Marion County Sheriff’s Office shares the unexpected and tragic passing of one of our own, Deputy Tamieka White. Deputy White was a courageous and dedicated public servant, having worked with our agency since 2007,” the force said in a statement. “Most recently, she served in our Judicial Enforcement Division. She was a bright light to everyone, and will missed by all who knew her. We will work tirelessly to uphold her memory.”
Indianapolis Animal Care Services said that the dog in question appeared to be a “pitbull-type” but could not confirm that without a DNA test.
Police told WRTV that White was looking after three dogs owned by another person when the attack took place.
Officials say that the owner of the animal has been identified and that no charges have been brought.