SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - A California man has died and his mother is in critical condition after they were mauled by pit bulls, authorities said on Wednesday.
Juan Fernandez, 59, of Modesto died after he was attacked by pitbulls in the back yard of a house in Modesto on Tuesday, the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department said. His mother, Maria Fernandez, 77, was also attacked by the dogs and was in critical condition in a local hospital, the sheriff's department said in a news release.
When deputies arrived, they saw three pit bulls mauling Juan Fernandez, and a fourth circling him, the department said.
Deputies shot and killed two of the dogs and the other two ran away at the sound of gunfire, the release said. Deputies temporarily contained them and then searched the home and found Maria Fernandez inside, also wounded from multiple traumatic dog bites.
Deputies attempted to capture the remaining two dogs after the two people were removed from the premises, but they charged the deputies, who then shot and killed both animals.
"Both were vicious, aggressive and charged the deputies," the release said.
Authorities said the owner of the dogs was cooperating with law enforcement, but they did not say who that person was.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Sandra Maler)