Dog Owners Face Multiple Felony Charges After Multi-Victim Attack
A pair of pit bulls killed Helene Jackson and seriously injured a 53-year old man.
Dog Owners Charged
UPDATE 08/14/23: After a woman was killed by a pair of pit bulls and a man critically injured by the dogs in Sierra Vista in June, the owners are now facing five charges. Shimira and Ashlee Sanches each face charges of felony manslaughter, felony negligent homicide, assault by vicious animals, also a felony, and two aggressive dog violation charges in connection to the death of 84-year old Helene Jackson and the critical injuries of 53-year old Samuel Sanches on June 23.
The multi-victim attack occurred as Jackson and her dog, Lily, were walking in an alley between Meadowlark Drive and Calle Del Norte at about 6:00 pm. It is alleged that one of the pit bulls jumped over the owners' cinderblock wall to attack Jackson and her dog. Jackson was transported to a local hospital, where she died of her injuries. Lily was discovered dead in the alley. Samuel was seriously injured by a second pit bull belonging to the owners while trying to help Jackson.
The current medical condition of Samuel Sanches is unknown. It is also unknown he is related to either owner, who share his same last name. We were able to locate two previous pit bulls owned by Shimira on her Facebook page, but not current ones. Online court records show the charges were filed on August 10, and a grand jury summons was issued on August 11. Both will be arraigned on September 5 in the Division IV courtroom with Superior Court Judge Timothy Dickerson.
06/25/23: Dog Kills One, Injures Another
Sierra Vista, AZ - On Friday, at least one pit bull critically injured a 53-year old man and killed an 84-year old woman and her small dog. The Sierra Vista Police Department (SVPD) responded to the 600 block of Calle Del Norte around 6:00 pm after reports of a dog attack in the alley between Calle Del Norte and Meadowlark. When officers arrived, they found a dog attacking Sam Sanches Jr., 53, in the backyard of his home. Officers shot and killed that dog to render aid to Sanches.
Officers then found Helene Jackson, 84, mortally wounded in the alley behind the home, "as a second dog returned to the same yard where the first attack occurred," states the release. Officers shot and killed the second dog too. Jackson was taken to Canyon Vista Medical Center, where she died of her injuries Friday night. Jackson's own dog was found dead in the alley near where she was located. The three dog carcasses were transported to Sierra Vista Animal Control.
SVPD PRESS RELEASE (June 24, 2023): Dog attack leaves one Sierra Vista resident dead, another seriously injured
On Friday, June 23, the Sierra Vista Police Department responded to the area of Calle Del Norte after a 911 caller reported a dog attack in the alley between Meadowlark Drive and Calle Del Norte.
Officers arrived on the scene and found a dog attacking a male victim in the backyard of a residence on Calle Del Norte. Officers dispatched the dog and provided first aid to the victim until emergency medical assistance arrived. A second female victim was found in the alley behind the residence as a second dog returned to the same yard where the first attack occurred. The second dog was also dispatched by SVPD officers.
Helene Jackson, an 84-year-old Sierra Vista resident, was transported to the Canyon Vista Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries Friday night. Her dog was found deceased in the alley near where she was located.
Sam Sanches Jr., a 53-year-old Sierra Vista resident, was transported to Banner Medical Center in Tucson where he remains in critical condition from his injuries.
The three deceased dogs were secured by the Sierra Vista Police Department’s Animal Control Office pending further investigation.
This is an active investigation and anyone with information relevant to this incident is asked to contact SVPD Detective Thomas P. Ransford at (520) 452-7500.
On Saturday, the Arizona Daily Independent reported that Jackson and her small dog Lily were taking a stroll in a residential alley when a pit bull "jumped a cinderblock wall-styled fence of a nearby home" and attacked them both, ultimately killing them both. Jackson sustained multiple traumatic injuries to her limbs, neck and face. She died shortly after reaching the hospital. Sanches resides in the home from where the pit bull jumped from, but apparently he is not the dogs' owner.
The role of the second dog, also described by witnesses as a pit bull, in this multi-victim attack is less clear, though police shot and killed it to stop it from entering the backyard, the first attack site. According to neighbors, a dog from the same home was involved in an injury attack earlier this year but it is unknown if that attack was reported to police. The owner(s) of the attacking dogs is apparently cooperating with the investigation being led by SVPD Detective Thomas Ransford.
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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.