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Victim Identified In Adams Crossbow Death Amid Dog Mauling

A woman in a blue suit stands at a microphone-covered podium in a booklined room
Josh Landes
Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington at Thursday's press conference about the accidental death in Adams

More details have been released on a bizarre death in Adams, Massachusetts involving a pit bull attack and a crossbow.

Authorities say it all began when calls of a dog mauling at 19 Bellevue Avenue came pouring in to the Adams police department just after noon on February 5th.

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington, at a press conference Thursday, said the address was home to a pair of dogs. They were owned by Joshua Jadusingh, 27, and his girlfriend.

“The information that we have is that there were two adult male pit bulls," the DA told reporters. "One of them is named Max, one of them is named Durma. Max is known to be the more aggressive of the two. But they do have a history of aggression, and they have a history of fighting, and we have an understanding that they were kept in separate cages.”

A neighbor heard the commotion.

“The neighbor knew right away that this must an incident with the dogs, [and] rushed over to help," said Harrington. "He could hear somebody screaming for help, saying ‘please, shoot the dogs.’ The neighbor ran back to his own apartment and got a crossbow that he uses for hunting, which he has a license for.”

He returned with the weapon, and entered 19 Bellevue Avenue.

“The way the apartment is set up is, there’s a front door and there’s a staircase," explained the DA. "The neighbor was at the bottom of the stairs, looking up the stairs. There was a pit bull at the top of the stairs on the landing. And the pit bull was in front of a closed door. The gentleman had barricaded himself in the room trying to, we believe, protect himself from the dogs.”

The neighbor fired the crossbow at the pit bull on the landing, hitting it in the scruff of the neck.

“The dog did not die, but the crossbow – it’s called a bolt – went through the door, and unfortunately, hit somebody behind the door,” said Harrington.

The injury to Jadusingh proved fatal.

“At that point, the dogs were still in the house, fighting," the DA went on. "The neighbor had had an opportunity to call for help. Adams PD came on the scene. Two officers entered the house. One of them is the canine officer.”

The DA says the dogs hurled themselves at the cops.

“The officers shot the dogs," Harrington said. "One of them died in the house, the other continued out of the house and ran down the street. And I went to the scene last night – you can see in the street, you can see blood in the street from the dog. Another member of the Adams Police Department shot the dog again, and the dog died there in the street.”

Harrington says Jadusingh and his girlfriend lived in the home with their daughter, who was not harmed. The DA could not comment on the whereabouts of the child.

Harrington says her office does not plan on filing charges against the neighbor, whom she described as a Good Samaritan distraught over the accidental death.

“He was actually quite good friends with his neighbor, 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,” she told reporters.

A necropsy on the two dogs showed that Adams police officers hit them with five rounds from their firearms. Neither officer will receive a procedural suspension.

“Because weapons were discharged, the State Police Detective Unit took this investigation over immediately, in addition to the fact that this was an unattended death,” said Harrington.

The ongoing investigation is being handled by Detective Lieutenant Ed Culver of the Massachusetts State Police.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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