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© WLBT
Horrific: Betty Walker opened fire on the pit bull and fatally wounded her husband in the chest.
A Mississippi woman has killed her husband after opening fire on a puppy she said threatened neighbourhood children, and accidentally shooting him in the chest.

Witnesses told Jackson police Robert Walker, 53, had picked up the eight-month-old pit bull after it had lunged at children on Friday.

His wife, Betty Walker, went inside to retrieve a gun, wounding the dog's leg with one shot and fatally shot her husband with another.

Mr Walker's son told local news station WLBT after the attack the children were taken inside before Mr Walker scooped up the dog.

Jackson police spokesman Colendula Green his death appears to have been accidental.

Ms Green said: 'The dog was trying to attack the kids in the neighbourhood and at that time, the wife did shoot at the dog but instead shot her husband in the chest area.'

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© WLBT
Tragic: Witnesses told Jackson police Robert Walker, 53, had picked up the eight-month-old dog after it had lunged at children on Friday

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© WLBT
Happier times: The Walkers (right) lived together in Jackson, Mississippi.
A Hinds County grand jury will decide whether to charge Mrs Walker.

Animal control officers have taken the dog, named Cocaine, who was found bleeding on the back porch.

Its owner, Lazarius Montgomery, could face charges.

Mr Montgomery, however, said the animal does not pose a threat.

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© Rick Guy/The Clarion-Ledger
Wounded: Lazarius Montgomery holds his injured dog, Cocaine, after the shooting

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© Rick Guy/The Clarion-Ledger
Threat? Mr Montgomery could face charges amid reports the dog had attacked neighbourhood children
Recalling the incident, he said: 'I was in the house sleep and my cousin, right here, told me that somebody shot my dog. I saw a bullet hole in her leg. I don't know what happened.'

Mr Montgomery's cousin, Robert Ferguson, meanwhile, has cast doubt the incident was an accident. He said the dog is always fenced in and could not have escaped to attack his neighbours.

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© WLBT
Casting doubt: Mr Montgomery's cousin, Robert Ferguson, said the dog is always fenced in and could not have escaped to attack neighbourhood children

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© WLBT
Fenced in: The dog is reportedly kept in this enclosed backyard
Witnesses echoed his claims, telling WLBT there had been no attack at the time of the shooting.

'The man that got shot, he was outside with the kids. That's all we know, we just heard the four gunshots,' Mr Ferguson said.

'Somebody had to pick her up out the gate. Ain't no way she could've got out the gate. She can't jump the gate, just eight-months, a puppy,' he added.