Harrison County

One of the pit bulls that killed Gulfport woman had attacked before, cops say

Emily Craft, the owner of two pit bulls believed to have attacked and killed an elderly woman Wednesday morning, was arrested after the mauling on an outstanding warrant from July on two misdemeanor charges — having a dog at large and a vicious animal charge.

A neighbor, Diana Jones, told the Sun Herald she filed the complaint on which the warrant was based after one of the dogs, a large male pit bull named Cash, and a second pit bull not involved in Wednesday's attack, got into her yard. The pits bulls, she said, had previously attacked and injured her Labrador retriever.

Jones said she was trying to be a "good neighbor" and did not report that incident.

The second time the pit bulls got into her yard, Jones said she managed to get her dogs inside. She said the pit bulls turned on her. She was able to shut the door before they got into her trailer, which is next door to Crafts'.

Jones said she decided to file the complaint after the second incident.

The 75-year-old woman killed Wednesday was known in the Orange Grove neighborhood as "the can lady." She walked daily, collecting cans. She gave some of the money to her church, she told Jones' daughters.

Officials have not yet released her name.

She was a very kind woman who always greeted the children at the bus stop and told them how cute they looked, Jones' daughters said.

The Gulfport Police Department is still investigating the attack that resulted in her death. No charge have been filed. Investigators said the victim apparently opened the closed gate to Craft's yard, where the pit bulls were outside.

The pit bulls have been surrendered to animal control.

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