A dedicated deputy sheriff died Tuesday night in Indiana, apparently protecting her young son from an attacking dog.
Tamieka White was a 17-year veteran of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, WTHR-TV in Indianapolis reported.
She was found dead shortly before 8 p.m. by police who were called after the frightened boy ran from the home.
White’s commander, Brittany Seligman, praised White’s final act.
“First and foremost, Deputy White was a mother. She died last night protecting the most important person in her life,” Seligman said.
A neighbor described the dog as “some type of pit bull mix” and said White was looking after someone else’s dogs, which had recently broken through the fence.
“They had been loose a couple times over the past weekend,” the neighbor told the news outlet.
“They weren’t there before, so she was dog-sitting, and I talked to her the day before, and she confirmed that she was dog-sitting and that she was going to fix the fence.”
Neighbors told WTHR that the attack took place in the backyard.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Maj. Mike Leepper told the station, “It’s very rare that you have a dog attack that results in death.”
The Indianapolis Star reported that the 6-year-old boy was bitten and “is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.”
The dog was fatally shot after it charged at a police officer who responded to the scene.
The Indianapolis Animal Care Services confirmed that its staff had impounded a cat and four dogs, including the deceased dog, and was holding them as part of the investigation into the incident, according to the report.
The Associated Press reported that White joined the sheriff’s office in 2007 and worked in the Judicial Enforcement Division, which transports inmates to court appearances in addition to serving legal process papers and collecting delinquent taxes.
Sheriff Kerry Forestal described her as “a bright light to all that knew her,” according to the report, adding, “We are immensely grateful for her nearly 17 years of service to our agency.”
It is with great sadness that we share the unexpected & tragic passing of one of our own, Dep. Tamieka White. Dep. White was a courageous & dedicated public servant, having worked with our agency since 2007.
She was a bright light to everyone, & will missed by all who knew her. pic.twitter.com/Ibv3yYsCX9
— Marion County Sheriff’s Office IN (@MCSO_IN) May 10, 2023
White’s boss spoke highly of her reputation with the law enforcement agency, WTHR reported.
“You never saw her without a smile on her face, and she would do anything to help her friends, her family and her fellow deputies,” Seligman said.
“Anyone who challenged her would quickly learn that they couldn’t stand at the table with Deputy White,” the commander also said, according to the Star.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.