The incident occurred after the young boy's grandmother dropped him off at a home in the Parkrose Heights neighborhood around 7:30 am to be taken to school, Daily Mail reports.
Koko Miller, the owner of both dogs, told authorities upon arrival that she went into the garage to care for the dogs. The young boy opened the door behind her and one of the dogs charged at him. The other followed suit.
Authorities said that Miller was covered in blood and reportedly did everything she could to stop the attack which included grabbing a gun, although she did not fire it. The child was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mike Benner, Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer, said during a press brief that "the boy knew not to go around the dogs, and that's why they were in the garage."
Benner described the two dogs as "very large and heavy," and said that the owner believes they are Great Dane-Mastiff mixes. She told authorities that the dogs were "mutts."
"I speak for everyone at the bureau when I say that our hearts break for this little boy, for his family, for his friends," Benner said. "I mean, any time this happens, it's a shock to the conscience, but for this to happen just weeks before Christmas, it's just unimaginable."
The two dogs were taken into custody at Multnomah County Animal Services. Police said they have both been euthanized and that Animal Services are holding a third dog that was in the home at the time of the attack.
Officer Benner told reporters that the investigation is being led by the Portland Police Bureau’s Child Abuse team with assistance from the Homicide unit. He said that it's too early to determine if criminal charges are applicable.
(Koko Miller. Courtesy of her personal Facebook page.)
Miller, who lives in the home, claims to be the owner and operator of a company called "K-9 Protection."
Sergey Dengub, a neighbor of Miller, told the Daily Mail that he was shocked by the attack.
"They’re really nice dogs," he said. "I've played with these dogs a lot of times when I visited the family. What's happened today is really surprising me."
A person close to the family was extremely saddened to learn about the child's death, according to the outlet, and said: "When I tell y'all I am HEARTBROKEN. This little boy was the kindest little kid. I'm praying for his sisters and Grandma."
Emily Calcagno, a kindergarten teacher at Glenfair Elementary, who personally knew the child, wrote about the incident in a post on Facebook and said: "It's been a hard day."
Police said that anyone with information about the case is urged to contact Det. Jennifer Musser at Jennifer.Musser@police.portlandoregon.gov and reference case number 23-314252.
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