MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WPDE) — Carnell Jackson said he prayed that his 7-year-old son, Shamar Jackson, would live after being mauled to death by dogs Sunday.
“I was just like, 'Lord just let him live, breathe into his lungs, but he had lost a lot of blood," said Carnell Jackson.
Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace said, “It appears the small child was mauled by dog(s) while walking in his neighborhood with his brothers who were able to escape. The investigation continues and we are actively seeking the dogs and their possible owner.”
Officials said Monday that Marion County Animal Control removed five mixed breed adult dogs from a home in the area after the attack. On Tuesday, officials said there were actually six dogs that had been seized.
Carnell said their Chihuahua, named Remi, had wound up on Wilbur Road and Shamar went to get her along with his older brother.
Carnell said five dogs surrounded Remi.
“I know he [his son] wasn’t going to leave without Remi. So, they called her and she ran to them. When she ran back to them, the [neighbors] dogs were running behind her. So, Aiden, my older son, ran on the fence over here, jumped on the fence."
He added Shamar tried to jump over the fence as well.
"And the baby boy, Shamar, he jumped on the fence, but he fell backwards, and he was just kicking the gate," Carnell explained. "One of the dogs came down here and ran to that side and just dragged him back. And ripped all of his clothes off of his body. You know, mauled him.”
Neighbors said they've claimed to Marion County officials in recent years about the dogs.
One neighbor said his mother had a hard time walking to her car to go to work after the dogs showed up near her front porch.
He said he's thankful the dogs didn't stay, but ran away.
A neighbor, Rafeaiel Sheppard, said many people in the community have complained about the dogs for 10 years and nothing has been done.
“I’ve stayed down here about 30 years. In about 10 years of it, everybody been complaining about these dogs. But you know Marion County. Something have to happen for them to actually know what’s going on. I am hurt, because I’ve done got chased by them," said Sheppard.
WPDE reached out to Marion County Animal Control.
Officials said animal control officers have patrolled the Wilbur and Cleo Roads searching for stray dogs, but not necessarily the dogs that attacked the child.
Carnell said he is relieved the dogs that mauled his son to death have been removed from the community.
"They did what I wanted them to do. Get the dogs and get them off the block, because other kids are here. I’m not just thinking about my kid. I don’t want nobody hurt."
He said he's deeply hurt over his son's death, but he's not angry.
“I’m not upset, because I raise all my children in God's words. His favorite scripture was Psalm 23. He lives by that scripture, and I teach in it. He lives by that word. So, I’m not, I’m at a peace. I mean, many people don’t understand that. Many people think I should be running around here acting crazy. I don’t have to act like that. I know where he’s at," said Jackson.
Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace said the investigation is ongoing and at this time, no charges have been filed.
You're asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at (843)-423-8216 if you have any information that could be helpful to the investigation.