WEST PRICE HILL (FOX19) - A Cincinnati mother "was viciously mauled" by her pit bull and killed this week, Hamilton County's coroner announced Thursday.
Della Riley, 42, also was shot by a bullet that ricocheted when Cincinnati police fired at the dog when it "aggressively charged" at them inside her home, police said in a news release.
Authorities say the woman was already dead when the bullet hit her -- in fact, before officers even arrived. The dog died in the shooting.
"There are no words to even begin to describe what we are going through as we learn more about the situation," Riley's family said in a statement released Friday. "It goes beyond devastation in its own right at this point for the family."
Police were called to Riley's home about 1 p.m. Wednesday for a report of a person having a seizure. Neighbors told FOX19 they saw a small boy running around asking for help after the incident.
"The mother had a seizure. I don't know if the dog got scared or whatever but he attacked her and ripped her throat out," said Jon Seymoure, who lives next door.
A dog was guarding Riley's body when medics arrived, so police were summoned.
In addition to the pit bull, she also had a rottweiler.
The investigation is ongoing. FOX19 will provide updates as they become available.