(NewsNation) — Two children near Memphis, Tennessee, were killed after the family dog attacked them. The mother of those children is in the hospital, as she sustained injuries trying to protect her kids.
Family and friends say 30-year-old Kirstie Bennard fought to protect her children as two of the family’s pit bulls fatally attacked 5-month-old Hollace and 2-year-old Lillie last week.
NewsNation-affiliate WREG spoke to a neighbor who is still in shock over the incident.
“It nearly brought me to tears. It’s just heartbreaking. I can’t even wrap my head around it. My heart goes out to everybody involved,” the neighbor, who preferred to not be identified, said.
The family had owned the pets for more than eight years without incident.
Kirstie’s husband and father of the children, Colby, was not home at the time of the attack. According to his uncle, Jeff Gibson, the mother tried her best to shield her children while the attack lasted for about 10 minutes.
Gibson says she suffered bite marks all over her body. He posted about the incident on Facebook.
“This attack lasted over 10 minutes, and she never gave up trying to save these babies,” Gibson said. “Now all of us family and friends have to rally around both of them and show them how much they are loved.”
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said both dogs have now been euthanized. Bennard is still healing from her injuries in a Memphis hospital. Her condition has been upgraded from critical to stable.