Neighbor uses crossbow to save man from dogs, but kills him instead

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ADAMS, Mass. (AP) — A man was shot and killed in his apartment by a crossbow bolt that a neighbor had fired at dogs who were attacking the man, authorities in Massachusetts said.

The death Wednesday afternoon in Adams appears to be accidental, according to Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington.

The neighbor heard a commotion and the victim, who was a friend, shouting for help just after noon, authorities said.

The neighbor made his way into the apartment, then returned to his own unit to get the crossbow, which he was licensed to own and used for hunting, Harrington said at a news conference Thursday.

He stood at the bottom of a stairwell and fired up at a dog on the landing, she said. The bolt struck the dog with a glancing blow, went through the door and hit the man in the room where he was trying to barricade himself, Harrington said. A young girl in another room was unharmed.

One of the dogs belonged to the man who died, she said. The other belonged to his girlfriend, who also lived in the home.

The adult male pit bulls were known to fight and were usually kept in separate cages, Harrington said. They had a history of being aggressive, and one had previously attacked a person who required medical attention.

The neighbor who fired the arrow is a “good Samaritan” who is cooperating with the investigation, the district attorney’s office said. Harrington does not anticipate criminal charges.

“The neighbor was reacting in a very stressful circumstance” and is “very distraught,” she said.

The dogs showed aggression toward responding police officers, who shot and killed both. O fficers fired five rounds at the dogs, an investigation found.

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