Update: Toddler Dies As A Result Of Pit Bull Mauling Incident

POSTED: 01:46 AM MDT May 08, 2012    UPDATED: 10:50 AM MDT May 08, 2012 
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

A 16-month-old girl has died from injuries suffered when a pit bull mauled her in the family backyard in Las Cruces.

The incident happened shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday in the 800 block of Stone Canyon in the Las Alamedas Estates in East Las Cruces. The dog was in its backyard and the child was being watched by the grandmother when the dog turned on the child and grandmother.

Las Cruces Police said a neighbor overheard the commotion, went to the home with a handgun and shot the pit bull five or six times, killing the dog. Police said the man accidentally shot the girl's 52-year-old paternal grandmother in the leg.

The baby was taken to Mountain View hospital in Las Cruces in critical condition where she died and the grandmother was taken to University Medical Center in El Paso.

Las Cruces Police said charges were not expected to be filed against the neighbor who shot and killed the dog.

Neighbors told ABC-7 the dog appeared vicious and that they would not walk near the home because they feared the pit bull. One neighbor, Chris Wallord, went to the backyard after hearing the gunfire and found the grandmother holding the baby under a ground-level trampoline. Wallord said the grandmother handed him the baby.

"I was concerned the baby was not breathing well," said Wallord. "I'm a respiratory therapist so my concern was to make sure she had a good airway and was stable and was ready for the paramedics to come take care of her."

Police say the family's 2-year-old pit bull attacked the young girl in the backyard of her grandparent's residence. The girl's grandmother tried to intervene but was attacked by the dog.

"That baby was the apple of her grandfather's eye," said neighbor Gwen Forcen. "It's such a tragedy."

No names have been released.