Pit bull attack kills woman, injures man on Christmas Eve

Saul Bowman
December 26, 2017

Local animal control said it is searching for the injured pit bull that was shot.

PREVIOUS: The Bell County Sheriff's Department is investigating after they say two pit bulls attacked a couple, killing a woman, near Highway 66 in the Wiser Branch area Sunday morning.

Police said the dogs belonged to 42-year-old Johnny Lankford, who at the time of the attack was being held in the Bell County Detention Center for assault, domestic violence, unlawful imprisonment and a bench warrant.

"Under no circumstances are you to engage this risky animal", the department said on Facebook.

His brother rushed outside when he heard the commotion and was able to distract the dogs long enough to allow Johnny to rush inside and grab a pistol.

Deputies responded to the scene about 10:20 a.m. Johnny Saylor was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for injuries to his arm and head. As for the dogs, he said he had seen them before.

Lankford's two dogs which attacked the woman.


Bell County Sheriff Mitch Williams is asking the community to be alert and on the lookout for a brown pit bull.

"Johnny got a gun and shot both dogs, killing one of them instantly", said Steele. The caller said they were pit bulls.

If you see a pit bull matching that description, in the Arjay or surrounding area, call Bell County dispatch immediately at 606-337-6174 or 911.

It is unclear what drove the dogs to attack their neighbors, but experts say it's unlikely that pit bulls just turn bad.

Bell County Sheriff's Deputies say that the dogs belonged to Johnny Dale Lankford, 42.

"They were just a super nice couple, and I can't even begin to put myself in his shoes".

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