A 9-year-old girl died after she was attacked by a pit bull while playing in a Long Island backyard on Sunday.

The girl was playing in the Elmont yard with two friends around 10:30 a.m. when a neighbor's 2-year-old male pit bull suddenly charged, locking his jaws around her and refusing to let go.

“He was holding her somewhere on the side —I don’t know if it was the ears or the neck— and he was throwing her around like a rag doll,” a neighbor told the NY Post. “The two [other] little girls ran down the street, screaming, ‘Help! Help! Help!’ I tried to take my broom and push the dog off through the fence. And the doctor up the block was trying to help, too. He threw a garbage can at the dog, but he wouldn’t let her go.’’

The dog finally relinquished the child once police arrived, turning his attention to them. One of the responding officers fired three shots, killing him. The dog's body was hauled away by animal control around 2 p.m.

The girl was taken to Franklin Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 1:42 p.m. Newsday reports that this may be the first instance of a fatal pit bull attack on Long Island.

The pit's owner, 29-year-old Carlyle Arnold, was arrested at the scene on an unrelated charge, for violating an order of protection. No charges were filed relating to the attack.

One neighbor told the Post that the pit, named Kane, was an "OK" dog.

“I mean, if somebody came too close to the house, he would react,” he said. “He would start barking. But that was the extent of it. I never thought he would maul anybody.”