Man Shoots Elderly Mother in Attempt to Break Up Fighting Dogs: Police

A bullet intended for a pit bull hit the 84-year-old woman in the leg

By Amara Sohn
|  Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012  |  Updated 12:23 PM EDT
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A man accidentally shot his elderly mother while trying to break up fighting pit bulls inside their Plantation home Tuesday night, police said.

The son told NBC Miami that he and his mother have seven pit bulls in their house at 4541 W. Broward Blvd. – they own three and take care of four for friends.

Tuesday night the dogs became aggressive and started fighting each other, Plantation Police spokesman Detective Robert Rettig said.

The 84-year-old mother, identified by police as Sonia Piccione, tried to separate them, and her 50-year-old son used a pistol to shoot at the dogs, but ended up hitting his mother, Rettig said. The son, Billy, who only wanted to give his first name, said his bullet hit his mother in the leg.

"I saw the dogs were fighting. She was on the ground," Billy said. "And I tried to break them up, and the one dog came at me," and with time of the essence, he shot, he said.

Piccione was taken to a hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening, Rettig said, while cautioning that her injuries could be more serious because she is older.

Billy and his mom live in a gated home that looks more like a compound, with many signs that warn of the dogs. Billy said he doesn’t feel safe in the area, so that is why he keeps the pit bulls for protection.

No charges are pending, police said.

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