Man Accidentally Kills Neighbor With Crossbow While Trying to Save Him From Pit Bull Attack, Police Say

A "good Samaritan" accidentally shot and killed his neighbor with a crossbow while trying to save the man from being attacked by two pit bulls, authorities said.

Police responded to multiple 911 calls about a mauling at a property on Bellevue Avenue in Adams, Massachusetts, shortly after 12 p.m. EST on Wednesday, the Berkshire County District Attorney's Office said in a news release.

Officers and a K9 unit arrived to find two mature pit bulls in an "engaging in a volatile confrontation." The officers fired their service weapons and killed the animals after they started attacking them.

Both dogs had a history of aggressive behavior, the District Attorney's Office said.

Officers then entered the apartment and found a man dead from a crossbow injury. A child was found in another room, unharmed. Investigators believe the man was accidentally shot by the neighbor as he tried to stop the pit bulls attacking him.

The District Attorney's Office said the neighbor heard the commotion and rushed into the victim's apartment. He then rushed back to his own apartment and returned with his crossbow.

He fired a shot that hit one of the dogs, but the arrow went through the door and struck the man who was being attacked. Authorities said he had been trying to barricade himself inside his apartment when he was struck and killed.

The District Attorney's Office said police believe the death was accidental and described the neighbor who fired the shot as a "good Samaritan."

"Early indications are that the death is accidental and the neighbor is cooperating with authorities," said Andrew McKeever, a spokesman for Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington.

The victim will not be identified until his next of kin has been notified and the Chief Medical Examiner's Office has confirmed his identity, McKeever added.

The District Attorney's Office said it will perform a full investigation. The incident is also being investigated by Adams Police, Adams Animal Control, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The Adams Police Department and Adams Animal Control have been contacted for comment.

Last month, a two-year-old girl was left in critical condition after being mauled by a pit bull in her home in Phoenix. The girl, named Aria, was in her mother's arms when the pit bull jumped up, snatched the girl and mauled her until someone in the home shot and killed the animal.

In December, three pit bulls killed a woman and severely injured another in Houston.

This article has been updated with information from the Berkshire County District Attorney's Office.

Stock photo. A man accidentally shot and killed his neighbor with a crossbow while trying to save him from a pit bull attack, authorities said. Getty