INDIANAPOLIS — A Marion County sheriff’s deputy is dead and her son is in the hospital after they were attacked while dogsitting at their home on the city’s east side.
Indianapolis Metropolitan police crews were called around 8 p.m. to the 1700 block of Forsythia Drive, near the intersection of 16th Street and Franklin Road on the city’s east side, on reports of an aggressive animal.
Upon arrival, IMPD said officers spoke with neighbors who said that a person had been attacked by an aggressive dog inside a nearby residence. Officers attempted to get inside the residence and eventually located a female laying on the ground injured inside an adjacent garage.
IMPD Maj. Mike Leepper said on scene that officers attempted to get inside the garage but were cut off by an aggressive dog. Officers then had to “destroy” the dog, Maj. Leepper said.
IEMS and Indianapolis fire crews were called to the scene for medical attention. The female laying inside the garage, identified as an adult woman, was pronounced dead at the scene. She was later identified as 46-year-old Tamieka White.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Department said White has been a deputy for the sheriff’s department since 2007 and worked in the Judicial Enforcement Division.
“Deputy White was a bright light to all that knew her,” said Sheriff Kerry Forestal. “We are immensely grateful for her nearly 17 years of service to our agency. We will work to uphold her legacy as a courageous and dedicated public servant.”
Officers also located White’s 8-year-old son in the home, who had also been bitten by the aggressive dog. That boy, IMPD said, was taken to a local level 1 trauma center and is listed in “good” condition.
Maj. Leepper said that multiple other animals, including three dogs, were found to be inside the residence as well.
A source with law enforcement said only one of the dogs belonged to White. She was dogsitting the three other dogs, including the attacking dog, for a friend.
IMPD reiterated on scene that there is no threat to the neighborhood at this time and that all dogs potentially involved in the incident are either inside the home or in animal control’s possession.
An initial investigation into the attack by homicide detectives shows that the dogs were “meant to be” at the home and did not come from outside.
Additionally, IMPD said that it is evident that the neighborhood in which the attack took place is very tight-knit and that White was well-known in her community.
A neighbor said White’s 8-year-old son had come running out the front door asking for help, which led to the initial 911 call. The boy was reportedly in shock, according to the witness.
Indianapolis Animal Care Services confirmed that animal control had recently been called out to the home on a report of loose and aggressive dogs. On Saturday, at around 3 p.m., an animal control officer sent by IACS found two dogs in front of a broken fence on the side of the house. A friend of the dog’s owner reportedly approached the officer and contacted the owner about the loose dogs.
IACS said three live dogs, one dead dog, and one cat were impounded from the east side home following the deadly attack. IACS said all of the dogs, including the deceased dog, appeared to be “pit bull-type dogs.”
IACS cannot confirm the breed without a DNA test, but does not plan on testing for the exact breed.
The dogs will be held as part of the investigation.
Eric Graves contributed to this report.