9-year-old Girl Mauled to Death by Pit Bulls While Playing on Bike Near Her Home

A 9-year-old Detroit girl was mauled to death by three dogs on Monday, according to reports.

The unidentified victim was riding a bike in an alleyway near her home in the west of the city when the attack happened, the Associated Press reported. She was taken to the Children's Hospital of Michigan but succumbed to her injuries and was later pronounced dead.

Neighbors reportedly tried to stop the attack—which occurred at around 4 p.m. One man who saw the attack said he tried to free the girl from the mouth of one of the dogs.

"I went and grabbed a brick and threw it right at the dog," Edward Cruz told WXYZ. "They all ran and I stood next to the girl to make sure she was okay and I yelled out for help."

Authorities also said that someone had shot one of the dogs. "[It was] a friend of the owners, I was told, that fired a shot at the dog," Detroit policeman Captain Russell Solano told XYWZ.

Another neighbor, Deborah Golden, said she tried to help the girl after the attack had happened, describing the incident as the worst thing she has ever seen.

"When I come out of my house, I heard all the screaming and I was aware something bad had happened," Golden told XYWZ. "I seen the little girl flat on her back with the bite marks and part of her neck hanging off. I started CPR and I had the dad grab the neck and hold it."

The three dogs—which have been described as pit bulls or pit bull mixes—were in the yard of a house before the attack happened, Fox 2 reported.

The Detroit Health Department—which oversees the city's animal control unit—said that the owner retrieved two of the dogs, AP reported. Authorities have not yet confirmed the death of the canine which was reportedly shot.

Detroit Animal Care and Control has now seized possession of the remaining two dogs and the owner has been taken into custody. Police are now investigating the incident. It remains to be seen whether the owner will face charges.

Cruz said he was surprised that the dogs involved could have been capable of such a horrific attack.

"I did not realize that they would be doing this," Cruz said. "They're not vicious dogs, they're really nice dogs, they're gentle, I don't know what came over them."

child's bike
Stock photo: A 9-year-old girl was attacked by dogs while riding a bike near her Detroit home. She later died in hospital. iStock