UPDATED: Family Identifies Woman In Fatal Stockton Pit Bull Attack
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Editors Note: Initial reports claimed that the home belonged to the killed woman. However, CBS13 has learned that those reports were inaccurate and the story has been corrected.
STOCKTON (CBS13) – A Stockton woman is dead after a pit bull attacked her Thursday evening, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said.
“It makes me sad, real sad,” owner Brian Hrenko said of the attack. “But, I don’t know who it is, so I really don’t know how to feel.”
Deputies received reports of the dog mauling around 8:20 p.m. in the 400 block of North Lillian Avenue.
Residents say that the pit bull — named Russia — has been terrorizing the east Stockton neighborhood for months now.
WATCH: Interview With Pit Bull Owner
Responding deputies found the woman in the front yard of the residence with several massive wounds. Medics pronounced her dead at the scene.
San Joaquin County Animal Control arrived at the residence around 9:30 p.m. and removed Russia from the yard without further incident. The pit bull is being held at the San Joaquin County Animal Shelter until the investigation is completed.
Family members identified the victim to CBS13 as 38-year-old Claudia Gallardo — a mother of three.
Hrenko says he doesn’t know Gallardo and that she climbed over his front yard fence while he was gone. A female friend of Hrenko’s was at the home at the time, and says the victim claimed to be there to clean the house.
“The dog is just protecting its property. Whoever that girl was — which I don’t know who it was — I feel bad for her family, whoever it was. But she should not have jumped over the fence,” said Hrenko.
The sheriff’s office has not confirmed the woman’s identity, nor has it confirmed if the woman jumped the fence.
Hrenko said he was gone only 40 minutes, and when he returned home his female friend was torn up.
“She was all hysterical, said Russia attacked (the woman) and she was all crying and stuff,” said Hrenko. “I don’t know exactly, I want to talk to her myself.”
However, he didn’t get the chance because deputies took him in for questioning.
“They asked me about the character about the dog, and then they asked me and a girl might have did something to (victim), got in a fight with her or something — you got to be kidding me,” said Hrenko of his questioning.
Some neighbors are worried after learning of the brutal attack.
“I walk to school every single day and knowing that this happened, kind of doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel safe,” neighbor Nuri Rubio said.
Especially, since Russia has a history.
“He gets in fights with my neighbors dogs all the time. He’s attacked people in the yard, but never actually bit them. He, like, chases them, knocked them in our swimming pool, chased one up a tree — but, he’s never actually bit and really hurt anybody before,” Hrenko said.
The San Joaquin Coroner’s Office has not released the identity of the woman.
The investigation is ongoing.