Local News

Grandmother killed, 2 kids hurt during attack by 4 Rottweilers owned by woman's brother

Posted December 11, 2018 9:57 a.m. EST
Updated December 11, 2018 5:35 p.m. EST

— A Robeson County woman was killed and two of her young grandchildren were injured, one of them critically, when the three were attacked Monday by four Rottweilers owned by the woman's brother, the sheriff's office said Tuesday.

Esta Currier, 73, who lives at a home in the 2200 block of Olivet Church Road, died after the attack Monday afternoon, authorities said.

The two children, ages 7 and 9, were flown for medical treatment to McLeod Hospital in Florence, S.C., where they were listed in stable condition, according to a written statement by the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office declined to identify the young victims because they are juveniles.

The two deputies who were called to the scene opened fire, because "they were approached by the dogs in an aggressive manner," the statement said. The dogs were killed and turned over to Robeson County Animal Control.

The wife of the man who owned the dogs was hurt by a bullet fragment or flying debris when the deputies opened fire, authorities said. She has been identified as Brenda Walters, 56, also of the 2200 block of Olivet Church Road. She was treated and released from Southeastern Medical Center, the sheriff's office said.

She and her husband are the owners of the Rottweilers that were involved in the incident.

The incident occurred at 2258 Olivet Church Road, a few houses away from where the woman lived.

According to the sheriff's office, Currier was picking up her grandchildren from the school bus stop when she was attacked by the dogs.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the attack or if the victims were known to the animals.

The owner of the dogs, whose identity was pending, declined comment about the incident.

It was not clear if the dogs' owner would be charged in connection with the attack.

Justin Oliver, mayor of Marietta, which is where the attack occurred, said the pet dogs were always kept behind a fence.

"The dogs were always fenced in," he said. "If they had not been, it would have been addressed. I don't know how they escaped and how all this happened."

The State Bureau of Investigation has been called to assist with the investigation, a routine response when an officer discharges their weapon, according to the sheriff's office.

According to the American Kennel Club, Rottweilers are muscular dogs that are from the working class.

Male Rottweilers can stand from 24 to 27 inches tall and can be very muscular and robust.

The dog group describes the animals at "people dogs" that are "calm and confident, courageous but not unduly aggressive" provided they have been "well-bred and properly raised."

In a Facebook post, Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said deputies shot the dogs to protect themselves and residents who came to help the victims.