Beau Rutledge, a 2-year-old Georgia boy, was mauled and killed by the family's pit bull at home Wednesday afternoon, according to police.
Fulton County Police Detective Melissa Parker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the attack occurred around 1 p.m. when the toddler's mother stepped away to use the restroom, leaving her son unattended with the dog. She returned to tragedy.
“She advised it happened fast,” Parker told the newspaper. “It was an obvious death once the mother came out of the restroom.”
ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV reported that neighbors rushed outside when they heard the boy's mother screaming.
"(She) said, 'The dog attacked the baby. The dog killed the baby.' That's what I heard her say," neighbor Joseph Messam told the station.
First responders arrived at the family's townhouse but soon realized they were too late. Parker told NBC affiliate WXIA that responders were rattled by the gruesome scene inside the house, and that some "were in tears."
According the Journal-Constitution, the family had owned the dog, which animal control identified as a pit bull, for eight years. The dog remained enclosed in the house until 3 p.m., when animal control removed it and transported it to a shelter to "evaluate its health and temperament."
WXIA reports that it is yet unclear if the dog will be euthanized. The station noted that the dog had never shown aggression before.
The neighborhood where the incident occurred is home to many families with children. Neighbors indicated that the dog was well cared for, telling WSB that the boy's father could be seen walking the dog in the neighborhood every night.
According to WSB, the boy's distraught father "lost control" when police would not allow him in the house and had to be shocked with a Taser.
The ASPCA notes that although pit bulls have a "typical good nature with people," some owners have encouraged the dogs to behave aggressively.
"If a pit bull does bite, he’s far more likely to inflict serious injuries than most other breeds, simply because of his size and strength," according to the ASPCA website.
More From WSB-TV: