4-year-old boy mauled to death by loose dog in Detroit

A four-year-old boy was killed by a loose neighborhood dog on Detroit's west side Wednesday afternoon.

Lovell Anderson has been identified by family members as the little boy who was killed by the dog on Pierson, near Rouge Park. 

Detroit police and the family say the dog was a pit bull that belongs to a close-by neighbor.

Anderson's aunt told FOX 2 that he was playing in the backyard, which is fenced. The dog managed to grab Anderson and pull him to the other side through a gap under the fence, before fatally attacking him.

"The child was in his own backyard, pretty much doing what all kids do," said DPD Commander Arnold Williams.

Lovell Anderson with his parents, celebrating his 2nd birthday. (Provided by the Anderson family and their attorney)

The victim was being watched by his grandmother, and his parents were not home at the time of the attack, according to the family.

Following the incident, animal control apprehended two pit bulls in the vicinity. Police said they believe one of the dogs in custody is responsible for attacking Anderson, while the other is the grandmother's dog.

"My sister is truly distraught right now, at this moment," said Anderson's aunt. "This is a very sad situation. As we know in Detroit, pit bulls (are) a big problem when you don't have them trained properly, or tied up, or put in a gate – secured properly."

"We live in a rural neighborhood. there's kids roaming around, getting out of school right now. …That could have happened to any one of them," she added.

Other family members, Monique Grant and Maple Blackshear, said Anderson was "full of life," and a gentleman with a sweet soul.

The family intends to hold someone responsible for this tragic event and is currently pursuing legal action.

Currently, the police have no one in custody and are not actively seeking anyone. However, they emphasize that this investigation is still ongoing and open.

Initial reports stated the victim was five-years-old. The family and family attorney confirmed the child was four-years-old.