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      Monster Pit Bull Mauls, Kills 4-Year-Old Girl

      HOUMA, La. (WWL/CNN) -- A 4-year-old girl is dead after being mauled Tuesday night by a pit bull that police call "a monster."

      They say the child and her mother were watching television at home when the 130-pound dog attacked.

      The police chief says the mother locked herself and her daughter in a bedroom and called for help.

      "The mother was able to barricade herself inside this bedroom," said police Chief Todd Duplantis. "Medical personnel arrived also. The mother was able to hand over the 4-year-old child through the bedroom window."

      The dog, named Niko, was shot three times by officers, who then tried to enter the apartment, according to Duplantis. "The dog was shot initially inside the residence," he said. "When the officers entered the residence to survey the situation, the dog attacked the officers."

      Duplantis said that when officers tried to get inside, the dog charged them and was shot an additional 10 times, before he died. Another pit bull, a smaller female, was not involved in the attack and was taken to an animal shelter.

      Duplantis described the scene as "horrific" and said counseling was being offered to the officers who were on the scene.

      Authorities say the little girl died at the hospital from severe bites to her head and torso.

      Her mother also suffered moderate injuries, but was released from the hospital.

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