RIVERVIEW, Fla. A Florida family is torn apart and blaming each other after a 4-year-old was viciously attacked by another family member's two pit bulls.
The deadly attack happened Saturday night in Riverview, Fla., when Logan Shepard and his mom, Stephanie Groulx, went to visit Logan's aunt and uncle, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The boy's father, Michael Shepard, and the child's grandmother, Norma Jean Bridges, said they blame Billy Fredericks Sr. for the child's death. Shepard was not at home when his son was attacked. He said he was changing out a transmission on a church bus.
Detectives said Fredericks told them he crated the animals so Groulx and Logan could come inside. But family members said Fredericks didn't leave the animals inside the kennel during their visit but, instead, wanted them to be out so they could roam to protect his property. The dogs have since been put down.
Shepard and Bridges both say Fredericks was careless and negligent.
Bridges said one of the reasons she never visited the Fredericks home, which is around the corner from her home, is because the pit bulls were rarely secured in their kennel.
On Saturday, Logan ate ice cream and watched cartoons in the family room inside the home along with his 15-year-old cousin. That child's mother said family members were talking and celebrating a new business venture. She said they were all just a few feet away in a bedroom when she said Logan somehow slipped outside away from his cousin and was attacked.
Meanwhile, neighbors say they're relieved the pit bulls have been put down and say a hole in the fence always worried them. Now Shepard said they're forced to make funeral plans for a boy who loved mud bogging, Power Rangers and Curious George.
Despite the neighbors and family's allegations about how the pit bulls were housed, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said at least for now no charges will be filed in the case.
Contributing: Mark Rivera, WTSP-TV, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.