INWOOD — An NYPD officer fatally shot a loose pit bull that had just mauled a small dog to death Wednesday night, police said.
The transit officer had exited a nearby subway station when he shot the aggressive dog on Hillside and Nagle avenues about 6:40 p.m., the NYPD said.
After attacking the small dog, the pit bull turned on a man, prompting the officer to open fire. It was not clear what breed the smaller dog was, police said Thursday.
The pit bull died at the scene.
A small memorial was spotted near the scene Thursday morning featuring images of the dog killed by the pit bull.
"You were far more than a pet," read a note on the sign, which was placed there by the dog's owner and said its name was Jada. "You were a family member, a friend, a loving soul I'll never forget."
The owner declined to speak to a reporter, noting she didn't sleep the night before.
The owner's cousin, who gave her name as Perla, said the owner had the dog for eight years.
Teresa Vega, 49, who has been living on Sickles Street near Nagle Avenue for more than two decades, said pit bulls have always been a problem in the neighborhood.
"It's too common, but you never find a cop around or anything," she said.
Vega said she often has to carry her 10-year-old buggle, Lulu, when walking her near the intersection where the attack took place because she's noticed several unleashed pit bulls in the area.
"Just last week, I had two run-ins with pit bulls," she said. "What if it was a toddler walking down the street? It could've been someone's child," she added.