There are many unanswered questions involving a police officer-involved shooting. Rochester Police say they shot and killed a pit bull that was mauling to death a woman. Police say after officers fired their weapons, a man in the neighborhood was hit by a projectile. The woman is in critical condition, the bystander in guarded but both are expected to survive.
ROCHESTER — A woman was fighting for her life Wednesday after police say she was mauled by a pit bull.
Rochester Police say they shot and killed a pit bull that was mauling a woman in Rochester early Wednesday morning. After officers fired their weapons, the man who owned the dog was hit by a stray bullet.
Just after 1 a.m., officers say they arrived on Rockview Terrace to find an unclothed woman identified as Maria Schaffer, 33, being mauled by a pit bull. Deputy Chief Scott Peters said that officers fired at the pit bull to save the woman. The dog died at the scene.
Peters said the dog owner, Jamie Cruz, had been trying to stop the attack with verbal commands, but the dog was "uncontrollable." Peters said Cruz told officers to shoot the pit bull. Officers fire handguns and a shotgun to stop the attack, and Cruz was struck by a bullet.
"The animal was actively attacking the female by biting and chewing various areas of her body," Peters said. "Obviously, the woman's life was in danger. I have no doubt that the officers' actions saved this woman's life."
Schaffer was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment and was in critical condition in the ICU Wednesday evening, but is expected to survive, police say. Peters says Schaffer was bitten across her body and suffered serious injuries to her arm.
Cruz was also taken to the hospital for treatment. He was listed in guarded condition Wednesday evening.
Police still have to speak with Schaffer and Cruz to determine what led up to the attack. Officers say the two have a child together and had an on-and-off relationship. Officers also said they weren't sure why Schaffer was unclothed when they arrived, and weren't sure if it was a result of the attack.
Cruz has several dogs at the house, including the pit bull involved in the attack.
Neighbors said they had never seen the dog before. One of the neighbors said they were jolted awake in the night by the screaming.
“My oldest son woke me up out of a sound sleep,” said Louis Crocitti. “He said 'Dad, a lady is being attacked.' Someone is being attacked, so I jumped out of bed, got dressed real quick, and grabbed the baseball bat. I was just thinking of the lady and thinking she's being mauled. The fight was knocked out of her. She wasn't even screaming or anything at that point.”
Police shut down Rockview Terrace near Lyell Avenue for several hours during their investigation.