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Joyful Christmas Eve turns deadly after pit bulls attack innocent couple

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Christmas is supposed to be a joyful time, but sometimes tragedy unexpectedly strikes.

A Kentucky woman was killed on Sunday when she and her husband were attacked by two pit bulls from a nearby home.

Johnny and Lorraine Saylor of Arjay, Kentucky were both brutally mauled by a pair of pit bulls early Christmas Eve, WYMT reports.

Lorraine, 66, suffered massive injuries to her face, neck, and shoulders. Johnny was bitten on his head, arm, and hand.

(Photo: Screen Capture).

According to the Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Johnny woke up Sunday morning and went looking for his wife, who usually gets out of bed earlier than him. Upon entering the yard, he was overtaken by the two dogs.

Johnny’s brother, James, lives next door. When he heard the commotion from his brother’s home, he quickly ran out and tried to distract the dogs by yelling and throwing a door stop at them.

James’ intervention allowed Johnny to escape into the house and fetch his .22 caliber pistol. He shot one pit bull that lunged at him, and the dog swiftly ran away.

(Photo: Screen Capture).

Johnny searched the front of the house and found his wife lying face down on the ground. He saw the second pit bull standing a short distance away. Fearing for his and Lorraine’s lives, he shot and killed the dog.

The Sheriff’s department responded to the emergency call around 10:20am. Lorraine was declared dead on the scene. Johnny was hospitalized for his severe injuries.

(Photo: Screen Capture).

Authorities located the escaped dog at the home of its owner. The pit bull was promptly taken to the Bell County Animal Shelter, where it was put down Monday afternoon.

Investigators discovered that the dogs belonged to 42-year-old Johnny Dale Lankford, who had already been taken into custody on December 22 on charges that included 2nd degree domestic violence and unlawful imprisonment.

Johnny Dale Lankford. (Photo: Bell County Sheriff’s Department).

Deputy Robin Venable subsequently charged Lankford with harboring a vicious animal.

Bell County Coroner Jay Steele, a friend of the Saylors, spoke highly of the deceased Lorraine.

“They were just a super nice couple and I can’t even begin to put myself in his shoes, it’s overwhelming the circumstances and what he found. She worried more about neighbors and friends than she did herself, as Johnny’s the same way, they’re just a very giving couple.”

Lorraine and Johnny Saylor. (Photo: Screen Capture).

Lankford was already being held on bond of $25,000.00

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