The attack of four pit bulls in south Modesto Tuesday evening has resulted in one man's death and his 77-year-old mother clinging to life.
The attack took place at 5:46 p.m. in a backyard in the 800 block of Glenn Avenue. Deputies arrived and found three of the dogs actively and viciously mauling Juan Fernandez, 59 of Modesto, with the fourth dog circling the victim. Deputies, fearing for the man's safety, immediately shot and killed two of the dogs. The other two pit bulls fled to an adjacent residential yard at the sound of gunfire.
Fernandez later died at a local hospital.
Other deputies set up a perimeter around the adjacent yard in order to contain the other two pit bulls. With the dogs temporarily contained, deputies evacuated Fernandez to waiting paramedics.
Inside the residence, they found his mother, Maria Fernandez, 77 of Modesto, suffering from multiple traumatic bite wounds. She reported that she too had been attacked and mauled by the dogs.
Maria Fernandez remains in critical condition in a local hospital.
Deputies attempted to capture the two corralled pit bulls but because they were vicious and charging deputies they were shot and killed.
The owner of the four dogs has been identified and they're cooperating with law enforcement. The Sheriff's Office is withholding their identity at this time. The case remains under investigation and no criminal charges are pending.
Stanislaus County Animal Services is working with Sheriff's investigators and have taken possession of the deceased dogs for testing.