2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Killed, Woman Injured by Three Dogs in North Lubbock Park

dog attack buddy holly park
A man was killed and woman injured by three dogs at Buddy Holly park in Lubbock.

Multi-Victim Attack
Lubbock, TX - On Tuesday, local news outlets in Lubbock reported that a woman was attacked by three "aggressive dogs," suffering "moderate injuries," and that nearby, a man was discovered dead. Authorities are now reporting that the man died due to being mauled by dogs. The attacks occurred in the 2500 block of Cesar Chavez Drive early Tuesday morning after a caller reported a dog attack and dead body at a nearby park. A witnessed fired several shots at the dogs.

One of the dogs was quickly captured by animal control officers and two remained at large. The loose dogs were described as a black dog and a white dog with black spots and both appear to be of a "pit bull-type breed," police said. Those dogs were captured that evening and taken into custody. On Wednesday, the Lubbock Police Department identified the man as 64 year-old Jack Looney, who was also "the victim of a dog attack and died as a result of the injuries he sustained."


Metro Unit Investigating Tuesday Morning Incident

(LUBBOCK, TX) – A death investigation is underway by the Metropolitan Special Crimes Unit, following a dog attack in North Lubbock Tuesday morning.

The LPD Communications Center received a call for service at 7:30 a.m. on September 27 to the 2500 block Cesar Chavez Drive for reports of aggressive dogs in the area of the Buddy Holly Recreational Area. The caller reported that one woman had been injured after several dogs attacked her. The caller also stated that there was a dead body nearby. It was unknown at the time if the two were related.

Officers responded and located one woman with moderate injuries received from several dog bites. Officers also discovered 64 year-old Jack Looney nearby. Looney was pronounced deceased on scene by EMS. Preliminary information leads investigators to believe that Mr. Looney is also the victim of a dog attack and died as a result of the injuries he sustained.

The City of Lubbock Animal Control Department responded to the scene and captured one of the dogs believed to be involved in both attacks. Late yesterday evening Animal Control Officers located and captured the other two dogs believed to be involved.

This case remains under investigation. - September 28, 2022, Lubbock Police Department


The male victim, Looney, was known in the Lubbock community. Looney was chairman of the United Democrats Lubbock Precinct Twentynine, according to his Facebook page. The Lubbock County Democratic Party offered their condolences. One friend said he liked to walk around the lake at Buddy Holly park late at night. Looney was liked by many and also disliked. Looney had been an attorney, but was ordered by the Supreme Court of Texas to resign in the mid 1990s.


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Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

Macro-Level Forces Report: How Covid Conditions Impacted 2020 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Capture Rate

Dog Bite Fatalities Surged in 2020; Nonprofit's Capture Rate Declined

macro-level forces 2020

DogsBite.org - In June of 2021, we published the discussion notes for 2020 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics. We cautioned then that media reports during the 2020 Covid year fell by 45%. In response, we sent out 30 FOIAs and uncovered 6 unreported deaths. This, however, did not overcome the macro-level forces caused by Covid. CDC Wonder underlying cause of death (UCD) data shows there were 62 fatal dog attacks in 2020. Our nonprofit only recorded 47 deaths.

62 fatal dog attacks in a single year is the most ever recorded in CDC data. This is a 29% increase from 2019 and a 77% increase from 2018.

Previous to 2020, during the 15-year period of 2005 to 2019, the largest deficit of unreported deaths was 4 each for the years of 2005 and 2010. During the 2020 year of Covid conditions, there was a deficit of 15 unreported deaths. A regional break down of dog bite fatality victims in 2020 shows that the West and Midwest regions had the most unreported cases (13). The South had the lowest number of unreported cases (2) with 93% captured by the media and our nonprofit.

Possible factors causing the disparity of 15 unreported deaths include: stay-at-home orders, one-third of employed began working at home,1 a sharp reduction in media reports and a reduction of media releases from police. The increase in the number of deaths in 2020, may also be linked to Covid conditions. Some cities reported a 2-fold increase in dog bites during 2020. Pediatric hospitals in the US and UK reported a 3-fold increase in rates of ED visits due to dog bites.

The government directed stay-at-home orders and school closures increased child exposure to dogs, as well as adults. According to CDC data, 66% (41 of 62) of the victims in 2020 were ages 45-years and older. Our nonprofit captured 24 of these deaths, 58%. However, we already knew this age group was being underreported in the media. We discussed this disparity in the 2020 discussion notes (Comparing 15 Year Data Sets - DogsBite.org Data and CDC Wonder Data)

macro-level forces 2020

U.S. dog bite fatalities during the 2020 pandemic crisis by Census region and age groups.


Characteristics of Unreported Fatal Dog Attacks (2005 to 2020)

We also discussed the characteristics of unreported fatal dog attacks, based upon 18 unreported deaths that we have uncovered through FOIAs over the last decade. The most likely unreported fatal dog attack from 2005 to 2020 is an adult ≥ 40 years old killed by a single or pair of family pit bulls in an urban area within a state that prohibits or limits breed-specific laws. 83% (15) of cases involved pit bulls, and of that 73% (11 of 15) involved a single or pair of family pit bulls attacking.

78% (14) of the total unreported fatal attacks involved family dogs killing a household member, and 78% of all victims were ≥ 40 years old.

Breaking down the CDC data set by state over the 16-year period also shows that several western states contribute to the most unreported deaths: Arizona, Colorado and Washington (26 deaths total). Arizona had the highest number of unreported deaths (11), which, in part, might be attributed to undetected fatal dog attacks on Indian reservations. Regionally, the West showed the highest number of unreported deaths, 30, followed by the Northeast with 12 unreported deaths.

Related materials:
Table: Dog Bite Fatalities by Age Group (2005) and Fatalities by Year
Table: Dog Bite Fatalities by State, Region and Age Group (2005-2020)


Discussion

Macro-level forces simply mean macro social and economic forces beyond our control. Capturing small data numbers (40-50 dog bite fatalities per year) was difficult before Covid struck American soil. This hurdle became much higher during the 2020 Covid year, when the media was extremely focused on the pandemic crisis, followed by the general election. Furthermore, newsrooms cut over 16,000 jobs in 2020, the highest amount on record, and is described as the "2020 bloodbath."

It remains unclear why our nonprofit consistently records more dog bite fatalities in the 0-24 age group than CDC UCD data (275 v. 186 deaths) respectively. This was also true during the 2020 Covid year (18 v. 11 deaths) respectively. Due to miscoding errors and misreporting on death certificates, multiple studies say it is likely that CDC Wonder underreports the total number of deaths from dog attacks.2 But an 89 count difference in this age group appears significant.

It is also significant that three states (populations 5.7  to 7.7 million) comprised 87% (26 of 30) of unreported dog bite fatalities in the West.3

Finally, during the 15-year period of 2005 to 2019, the discrepancy between UCD data (519) and our nonprofit's data (522) was insignificant, even though a portion of our cases involve vicious attacks as a contributing cause of death. In a single year, 2020, the pandemic transformed that by creating a deficit of 15 victims dominated by the ≥ 45 age group. The UCD data over the same 15-year period shows that the majority of unreported fatal attacks also fall into this age group.

macro-level forces 2020

15-year period (2005-2019) CDC Wonder data compared to nonprofit data by age group.


Summary

During the 2020 pandemic year, there was a 45% reduction in dog bite fatality media reports, according to our citations. There was a surge in unreported fatal dog attacks, 15 deaths (21 deaths if no FOIAs had been pursued), and a surge in the total number of deaths, from the 5-year average (2015-2019) of 37 deaths to 62, a 68% rise. Victims ≥ 45 years old accounted for the majority of unreported fatal attacks and most of those attacks occurred in the Midwest and West.

Theoretically, there will be another significant deficit in 2021, the second Covid year. Those numbers have not yet been released by CDC.

By examining the characteristics of unreported fatal dog attacks, based upon 18 deaths we uncovered from 2005 to 2020, the most likely unreported fatal attack in our data is an adult ≥ 40 years old killed by a single or pair of family pit bulls. CDC data during this period shows that a large number of adults ≥ 45 years old killed by dogs are unreported in the media (104). Though breed data is unknown, one can assume that a fair number involve pit bulls and family dogs.

macro-level forces 2020

16-year period (2005-2020) CDC Wonder data compared to nonprofit data by year.

1Remote Work Before, During, and After the Pandemic, by Patrick Coate, Quarterly Economics Briefing–Q4 2020, January 25, 2021.
2Haskell MG, Langley RL, Animal-Encounter Fatalities, United States, 1999-2016: Cause of Death and Misreporting, Public Health Reports, 2020, Vol. 135(6) 831-841.
3U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division

Related articles:
06/01/21: 2020 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - Discussion Notes
01/12/21: 2020 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs

2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman, 88, Dies of Injuries, Child Severely Injured, After Pair of Family Pit Bulls Attack

Golden Police Department press conference after a pair of pit bulls attacked two family members.


Police Press Release
Golden, CO - On September 14, a pair of pit bulls attacked a 12-year old boy and his grandmother at their home. The attack occurred in the 15700 block of West 1st Drive around 3:35 pm. Arriving officers found a "blood trail into the home" and observed both dogs attacking the woman in the backyard. Officers "acted decisively putting themselves between the animals and victim," Sergeant Ben Salentine said. Officers "used themselves as human shields" to rescue the woman, he said.

Police confirmed the grandmother died on September 18 from injuries sustained in the attack. The corner has identified her as Mary Gehring.

The 12-year old boy sustained bite injuries prior to the arrival of police, Salentine said during a press conference. He fled to a neighbor's home. The child was later flown to Children's Hospital. The woman was taken to St. Anthony hospital with critical injuries. Both dogs were taken into custody. One of the dogs was euthanized due to injuries it sustained at the scene; officers were forced to Tase the dogs and use "less-lethal" shotguns, but the tactics were "not effective."

Police said the dogs were "known to the two victims of the attack." One neighbor told CBS News Colorado the dogs lived at the home. The surviving pit bull is being housed at Foothills Animal Shelter. The owner of the dogs remains under investigation, police said. "I can confirm that the dogs belonged at the residence. But as far as the particular owners, everything’s under investigation," Salentine said last week. The dogs had no history of complaints, police said.

"I just want to give a little bit of information regarding an incident that occurred yesterday afternoon just after 3:30 in the afternoon in the in a location in the Southeast corner of our city. We had a call dispatch as an animal bite, which very quickly and rapidly evolved into an animal attack. Officers immediately responded to the scene -- a very chaotic scene. Followed a blood trail into the home. Observed through a backyard window to larger animals over an elderly female that was in the backyard. Our officers acted heroically quickly and decisively, putting themselves between the animals and the victim that was in critical condition in inside the backyard. Officers used themselves as human shields, while they were able to conduct a rescue operation, removing that elderly woman from the backyard into the kitchen, where she was immediately transported to a local area hospital. As this was all going on, there was also a child that was bitten prior to the officer's arrival. That child was at a neighbor's house. He was also treated immediately and transported to a local area hospital." - Sergeant Ben Salentine with the Golden Police Department, September 15, 2022 Press Conference


Multi-victim attack Golden, CO pit bulls Mary Gehring

Home where a pair of pit bulls brutally attacked two family members on September 14, 2022.

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08/10/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Elderly Woman Found Dead After Pit Bull Attack in Las Vegas
07/28/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Mutilates, Kills Woman in Nassau County


Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

2022 Dog Bite Fatality: 32-Year Old Man Killed by 'Alligator' Pit Bull in Polk County, Tennessee

polk county alligator pit bull
Rusty Shane Burris, 32, was killed by an "alligator" pit bull in Polk County, Tennessee.

Pit Bull Kills Man
Polk County, TN - Over the weekend, a dog killed a man in Polk County, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. The fatal attack occurred early Sunday morning at a home on Swallows Drive in Old Fort. Deputies arrived at the scene just after 2:00 pm with EMS personnel. Deputies found 32-year old Rusty Shane Burris unconscious and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Sheriff Steve Ross said the canine, a pit bull, was owned by the man's family.

Burris suffered severe injuries to both arms. The dog also had a history of aggression. "He was defending himself from the dog, and that's why he got so many bites on the arms," Sheriff Ross told WTVC. "The dog had been aggressive before, and it was on a cable, but at some point during the night it broke the cable and came after Mr. Burris," Ross said. The family secured the pit bull in a car after the attack. They asked for the dog to be euthanized, which a deputy did at the scene.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said they found Burris behind the family's home, next to the fence line. Sheriff Ross said the dog bite fatality was a "first" for his agency. "We have the occasional dog bites, but this is a first for us, as far as someone actually dying from a dog bite. This was a very brutal attack," Ross said. The sheriff had hoped to hand the dog over to an agency for euthanasia, but none could take the animal. On scene euthanasia was the only safe option.

"Alligator" Pit Bull

WDEF reported the dog was an "alligator" pit bull. This presumably refers to CH Plumber's Alligator bloodline. Though, not to be confused with CH (Crenshaw's) Rodriguez' Gator bloodline. Both are serious fighting dog bloodlines in the south. However, many breeders falsely claim "Alligator" or "Gator" bloodlines. "Gator Pit Bull is a common name used by backyard breeders to boost their marketing appeal, as well as 'gator mouth pit bull,'" states Goodpitbulls.com.

Back in 2017, the owner of two family pit bulls that killed a child in Georgia claimed one dog was a "Jeep Rascal and Gator Gotti. No mixing in that bloodline at all (sic)." We will not begin to explain how implausible that is or how full of marketing nonsense that is. But it seems to be common bragging rights among some pit bull owners in the south to claim to own a "Jeep" or "Alligator" or "Gator" from a famous fighting dog bloodline that such individuals are unlikely to have access to.

Adult Male Age Group

Over the 17-year period of 2005 to 2021, very few men in the 30 to 39 year-old age group have been victims of fatal dog attacks. In fact, there have only been 10 men, according to our records, within the approximate 621 total dog bite fatalities during this period. 80% of these 10 deaths involved pit bulls. Half of these attacks, 50%, involved the dog killing its owner or a household member. These rare fatal attacks of men in their 30s are disproportionately inflicted by pit bulls.

polk county alligator pit bull

A family member who lives at the same location as the victim shows a male pit bull on her Facebook page as recently as July. Pit bulls from earlier years are seen on her page as well.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Tennessee Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
06/07/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman, 70, Killed by Pet Rottweilers in Tennessee
04/02/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Personal Protection Dog in Tennessee


Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.