A dog was shot and killed by a police officer Monday night at the corner of Main Street and Poplar Avenue after it attacked two people, including an elected official.

A woman was driving eastbound on Main Street when a dog in the vehicle, described as a pit bull,  started to attack her around 7 p.m. forcing her to pull onto Poplar Avenue.

Chancery Clerk Guy Nowell, who lives on Poplar,  was in the vicinity on a bike ride with his six-year-old grandson when he witnessed the woman being attacked.

Nowell said he could not have been more than 100 yards from his house when he saw the truck parked haphazardly and heard a woman on the ground screaming.

“I told Truman ‘you stay right there and don’t move,’ and then I approached the lady and she was all bloody and crying for help,” Nowell said. “I didn’t even know about a dog at that point. I didn’t know what had happened.”

As he was approaching he saw a large dog, which he described as a pit bull. It jumped out of the passenger side window and “started barreling down on me,” Nowell said.

He hit the dog several times with his bike-gloved hand but it clamped down hard on his right wrist.

“Before I knew it he’s on me and he clamped down on my wrist,” he said.

When he finally got the dog off of him, Nowell said he went to care of his arm and grandson and the dog ran straight back to the woman.

Nowell said by this time a crowd had gathered and the authorities had been called. A neighbor helped him get a scarf on his wound and his grandson safely in a car.

“I think the police got on the scene right after the dog got off of me,” Nowell said.

Police Chief Grant Myers said when officers arrived, they saw that the dog had the woman on the ground.

“They were unable to separate the dog from the lady and were forced to shoot the dog to free her,” he said.

Nowell said he remembers hearing two or three gunshots.

Paramedics on the scene rushed Nowell and the woman to the hospital. Nowell said he has multiple stitches to close a few large gashes on his arm.

“I got fortunate, but I hate it for her. I tried to find out how she was doing at the hospital and they told me they were taking her to Meridian. I hope she is OK,” Nowell said.

“It wasn’t fun but it could have been a whole lot worse. I’m just glad my grandboy was safe. That dog would have killed him if he had gotten a hold of him. 

“I just want to thank my neighbors and the people who stopped and the paramedics and the police for shooting that son-of-a-gun. It could have been a lot worse.”

Chief Myers said it was fortunate that no children were injured in the incident.

The woman remains in a Meridian hospital.

The dog’s body is being tested for rabies, Chief Myers said.