A man accidentally killed his neighbour by shooting him with a crossbow while trying to save him from being attacked by two pit bulls.
The unnamed man was targeting the dogs with the weapon, but the arrow ricocheted off one animal and hit Joshua Jadusingh, prosecutors say.
It is unclear what sparked the attack but both dogs – adult males – had a “history of being aggressive”, authorities have since said.
Mr Jadusingh’s daughter was also in the apartment but remained unhurt in a different room.
The events unfolded Wednesday afternoon with police receiving multiple calls about the dog attack, Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington said during a news conference.
The neighbour – described by authorities as a “good Samaritan” – grabbed a crossbow, entered the apartment and fired, striking one of the pit bulls in the neck.
But the arrow somehow ricocheted into the victim as he was trying to barricade himself from the dogs, Ms Harrington told reporters.
“The neighbour shot the crossbow, hit the dog in the scruff of the neck,” she said. “The dog did not die, but the crossbow, it’s called a bolt, the bolt went through the door and unfortunately hit somebody behind the door.”
So aggressive were the animals, she added, that they then turned to attack arriving police. Officers shot them both dead on site.
Mr Jadusingh’s death is being treated as accidental.
The neighbour, who had a licence for the crossbow, is cooperating with police and no charges are expected.
“He was actually quite good friends with his neighbour, and he knew that there was a child in the home, and it was a really, really difficult and stressful situation for him to be in and I think he did his best under the circumstances,” Ms Harrington said.