Art Mesa is devastated by the mauling death of his granddaughter.
"There are no words I can say," the baby's grandfather Art Mesa said, with tears welling in his eyes. "I loved her dearly. She was my baby."
Fifteen-month-old Jazilyn Mesa was killed Tuesday morning, after her father's pet pit bull, Tyson, turned on his owner's daughter. Neighbors described the dog was aggressive and temperamental.
Art Mesa said Tyson was 2-years-old and had never bitten anyone before. He said baby Jazilyn was never allowed to be alone with Tyson. Mesa said he could never have imagined something like this could happen.
"The baby wanted to go outside, and play," Mesa said, sitting in the backyard where the baby was mauled. "So the procedure was, put the dog away because he's big, and played rough. So that's what they were doing -- taking the dog and putting it in the kennel. And it attacked."
Mesa said his wife jumped on Jazilyn to cover her but the dog would not let the baby loose. He said the dog then took the baby underneath a trampoline in the backyard. Mesa said his wife, Letitia Mesa, grabbed rocks and was hitting the dog with them.
Next-door neighbor, Barry Snyder, heard the grandmother's screams and climbed over the rock wall between the houses. He observed what was happening, then went back to his house and grabbed a handgun.
Mesa said when Snyder returned; the dog let the baby loose, and then charged at Snyder. Snyder fired shots at the dog, hitting it six times. He also hit Letitia Mesa by accident in the leg, Las Cruces Police said.
Both baby Jazilyn and Letitia Mesa were transported to area hospitals. Jazilyn died from her injuries. Letitia Mesa was injured from the gunshot wound but has since been released and is now recovering at home.
The death of baby Jazilyn is the 10th dog-attack death in the U.S. so far this year. It is the second pit bull attack fatality in the state of New Mexico in less than one week.
Dog attack experts claim it is the way in which pit bulls attack that makes them not necessarily an aggressive breed, but rather a dangerous animal.
"It's the hold and shake bite style," Dogs Bite director, Colleen Lynn said. "And when they bite, they don't stop shaking."
Art Mesa says "Tyson" grew up with a mate -- a female rottweiler which died three days prior to the attack. He says that may have put the pit bull in an unpredictable behavioral state.
"When a pit bull has a bad day, it means something really bad is going to happen," Lynn said. "It's not going to be a bite. It's going to be a mauling, or as it was in this case, a death."