Local News

7-year-old killed in Robeson County dog attack

Posted January 24, 2016 6:49 p.m. EST
Updated January 26, 2016 6:52 a.m. EST

— One child was killed and his brother was injured after a Sunday dog attack in Robeson County.

Family members told WRAL News that 7-year-old Talen West and 8-year-old Jaylen West were playing in the woods near a home at 2484 Odum Road in Lumberton late Sunday morning when they encountered a neighbor’s pit bull.

The dog attacked both children. Emergency crews were called at about 11:20 a.m. and they found Talen West unresponsive upon arrival. The brothers were taken to Southeastern Medical Center, where Talen West died.

Authorities said he had severe puncture wounds on his body.

Jaylen West was treated for leg injuries and released.

Distraught family members said that the dog had no known history of violent tendencies when he turned on them.

“Everybody is just sad and under a lot of stress right now,” said the boy’s cousin Devin West.

Devin West said that the older brother tried to fight the dog off of his younger sibling, but was unsuccessful.

“His little brother had a machete or hatchet or something and got the dog off of him, but it was too late,” he said “He got him by his neck and broke his neck.”

The dogs belong to Afreda Locklear. Spencer Oxendine, Locklear's brother, spoke to WRAL News and said one of the dogs recently had a litter of puppies.

Robeson County sheriff’s deputies are investigating to determine what may have provoked the dog and whether charges will be filed.

“It’s a tough investigation, especially when you lose a child,” said Sheriff Kenneth Sealey.

Family members said the dog died at the scene, possibly from exhaustion or a heart attack.