‘It is a big loss’: 88-year-old woman fatally mauled by dog

A deadly dog attack is raising concerns for a grief-stricken Richmond community.
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 2:13 AM EST

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT/Gray News) - An 88-year-old woman from Virginia is being remembered as “wonderful” and “incredible” after her death from injuries she received in a dog attack.

Officers responded to the report of a dog attack in a Richmond neighborhood around 6:45 a.m. Monday. When they arrived, they found 88-year-old Evangeline Brooks with life-threatening injuries. She was taken to the hospital and later died from her injuries.

Neighbor Roxie Ann Tune recalled the painful morning of the attack. She told WWBT it happened about three doors down from where Evangeline Brooks stayed with her son.

The victim was out for her usual morning walk when she was mauled in her late sister’s driveway.

“She was laying here face down, and at that point, he had knocked some belongings off on her,” Tune said. “Her shoes was laying right here. She was actually right here. And the lady who lives over here was holding her on her neck.”

Evangeline Brooks is remembered for her dedication to service as a member at First Baptist Church of Southside Richmond for 25 years. Her sudden death sent waves of grief through the church family and community.

“We have members who come and go, but then, there are special members who really mean a lot,” said senior pastor Dwight Jones. “She was a deacon, choir member and Sunday school teacher.”

She also was a school teacher for Chesterfield County Public Schools for many years, according to family and friends.

“She is what we would say is ‘the salt of the earth.’ She was a wonderful person,” Jones said.

He says she didn’t deserve to die a horrendous death and is calling for city and state leaders to do more to prevent tragedies like this from happening to someone else.

Also grieving Evangeline Brooks’ death is her son, Howvard Brooks. He remembers the precious times they shared together, like singing her favorite hymn, “Jesus on the Mainline.”

“My mother was just incredible. She was phenomenal,” he said.

Everyone hopes the selfless life she lived will inspire others in the community.

“It is a big loss. It is a big loss for me, but I know that I’ve made up in my mind each day I need to be the best that I can be. That is my responsibility,” said Howvard Brooks, with tears in his eyes.

The dog, which was a pitbull mix, was surrendered into Richmond Animal Care and Control custody after the attack. It was immediately euthanized.

Police are working with animal control and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office during the ongoing investigation.

Police have not yet shared details on any charges, which would bring some sense of closure to many who knew and loved the victim.