Virginia woman, 88, mauled to death by dog on her morning stroll remembered as 'salt of the Earth'

Community leaders have urged local and state authorities to take greater action to stop similar attacks in the future

Virginia woman, 88, mauled to death by dog on her morning stroll remembered as 'salt of the Earth'
Evangeline Brooks was fatally mauled by a dog while out on a morning stroll (NBC12/YouTube & Getty Images)
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RICHMOND, VIRGINIA: According to authorities, an 88-year-old woman was fatally mauled by a dog while out on a stroll in a Virginia neighborhood. Around 6:45 on Monday morning, police were called to a report of a dog attack in a Richmond neighborhood. When they got there, they discovered Evangeline Brooks, 88, lying there with serious wounds. After being transferred to the hospital, she succumbed to her injuries. 

It was eventually discovered by police that Brooks had been attacked while out for her routine morning stroll. After the attack, the dog, a pit bull mix, was turned over to Richmond Animal Care and Control and it was immediately euthanized. The attack took place close to where the retired teacher and her son were staying, according to Brooks' neighbor Roxie Anne Tune, who spoke with NBC. Tune said, “She was laying here face down, and at that point, he had knocked some belongings off on her. Her shoes were laying right here. She was actually right here. And the lady who lives over here was holding her on her neck.”

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According to family and friends, for 25 years, Brooks faithfully served as a member of the First Baptist Church of Southside Richmond. Her demise sparked a wave of mourning throughout the church and her neighborhood. She also worked as a teacher for Chesterfield County Public Schools for a considerable amount of time. Senior pastor Dwight Jones told NBC, “We have members who come and go, but then, there are special members who really mean a lot. She was a deacon, choir member, and Sunday school teacher. She is what we would say is ‘the salt of the earth.’ She was a wonderful person.”

Jones said she didn't deserve to suffer such a horrible death and urged local and state authorities to take greater action to stop similar attacks in the future. Howvard Brooks, Evangeline Brooks' son, is also mourning her passing. While recalling the special moments they spent together, Howvard said, “My mother was just incredible. She was phenomenal. It is a big loss. It is a big loss for me, but I know that I’ve made up my mind each day I need to be the best that I can be. That is my responsibility.” 

Meanwhile, according to DogBites.org, a group devoted to defending people around dogs, there were 48 fatal dog bites in the United States in 2019. Their report revealed that between 2005 and 2019, 521 Americans were killed by dogs. The group also noted that nine of the people murdered by dogs in 2019 were 70 years of age or older.

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