A St. Petersburg woman shot and wounded her next door neighbor's two pit bulls Monday night after they attacked her elderly mother through a bedroom screen as she tried to close the window.
"They had my mom and I had to protect my mother and child," the woman said.
She asked us not to identify her or the location of her home for fear of retribution. But she wanted to tell her story in an exclusive interview with 8 On Your Side.
She insists last night was the seventh time the neighbor's aggressive pair of pit bulls have dug through her backyard fence to terrorize her family and her own dog.
Monday night, while her 69-year-old mother frantically called 911 for help, the woman said she retrieved a .38 caliber handgun loaded with hollow point bullets and fired three shots at the dogs as they bit her mother's hands.
"The blood-curdling scream that came from her, that was the only thing I could do," the woman said.
Police arrived to the scene on 55th Avenue South moments after the shooting and decided that it was a justified act of self defense.
The dogs by that time had limped back to the neighbor's home.
According to police, the dogs' owner, Mariamma Braxton, then took them to a clinic for treatment of minor gunshot injuries and surrendered the animals. The clinic later turned them over to Pinellas Animal Services.
County veterinarians determined the pit bulls were too aggressive to keep for adoption.
"We couldn't even approach the cage," said Doug Brightwell, Field Services Manager for Pinellas Animal Services.
County workers euthanized the pit bulls Tuesday morning.
No one answered a knock at Braxton's door. She did not respond to a business card left at the house. A sign in Braxton's front window cautions visitors to "Beware of Dog."
The woman who shot Braxton's dogs tells 8 On Your Side she feels terrible about what happened, but would do it again under the same circumstances.
"Anything to protect my mother and my child," she said. "That is why I have the gun."
A St. Petersburg woman shot 2 PIT BULLS belonging to her neighbor after the dogs attacked her mother through a window, St. Petersburg police said.
Ellen Staples, 69, told police the dogs were running loose in her yard at 1151 55th Ave. S. on Monday evening. When she went to close her window to make sure the dogs didn’t get inside, they began to leap at her from outside, biting her hands and wrist, police said.
When staples called out for help, her daughter Robin Alotaibi, 51, retrieved a handgun and fired three shots at the dogs, hitting both and sending them fleeing back into their own yard, police said.
Police arrived on the scene at around 6:45 p.m. and found the wounded pit bulls alive at 1195 55th Ave. S. Their owner, Mariamma Braxton, took the dogs to a veterinary hospital for treatment, police said.
Because Alotaibi fired the weapon in defense of her mother, no charges will be filed, police said.
A report has been forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office, which could lead to an ordinance violation against Braxton, police said.
Robin Alotaibi, 51, fired three rounds at the PIT BULLS when they leapt up at Ellen Staples, 69, biting her wrist and hands as she tried to shut a window, St. Petersburg police said.
The dogs were taken to a veterinarian hospital for treatment by their owner, who lives near Staples' house at 1151 55th Ave. S. Staples told officers she had previous problems with the pit bulls and went to close the window when she noticed them running loose in her yard.
Police said the dogs ran back home after Alotaibi shot them, and no charges were filed Monday. Authorities said the dogs' owner could be cited for an ordinance violation.'