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

The woman was a deacon at First Baptist Church in South Richmond
A deadly dog attack is raising concerns for a grief-stricken Richmond community.
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 5:20 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2022 at 11:04 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -An 88-year-old woman has died after getting attacked by a dog while walking in a Richmond neighborhood Monday morning.

On Monday, Nov. 7, around 6:45 a.m., officers responded to the 1500 block of Alaska Drive on the report of a dog attack. When they arrived, they found Evangeline Brooks, 88, of Richmond, with life-threatening injuries.

She was transported to a local hospital and later died from her injuries.

Brooks is remembered for her dedication to service as a member at First Baptist Church of Southside Richmond for 25 years.

“We have members who come and go, and then there are special members who mean a lot,” said senior pastor Dwight Jones.

Her sudden death sent waves of grief through the church family and community.

“She was a deacon, choir member, and Sunday school teacher,” Jones said. 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 ‘the salt of the earth.’ She was a wonderful person,” Jones said.

A woman he says didn’t deserve to die a horrendous death. Neighbor, Roxie Ann Tune, recalled the painful morning of the attack.

She tells us it happened about three doors down from where Brooks stayed with her son.

“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.”

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

After the attack, the dog was surrendered into Richmond Animal Care and Control custody. RACC confirms the dog, who was a Pitbull mix, was immediately euthanized Monday.

Brooks leaves behind her one and only son, Howvard.

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

He’s now left cherishing the precious times they shared together, like singing her favorite hymn, “Jesus on the Mainline.”

They all hope 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,” Howvard said with tears in his eyes.

RPD is working with the RACC and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office during this ongoing investigation.

Pastor Jones is calling for city and state leaders to do more to prevent tragedies like this from happening to someone else.

RPD has not yet shared details on any charges, which would bring some sense of closure to many who knew and loved Mrs. Brooks.

A public viewing for Mrs. Brooks will be held on Nov. 20 at Mimms Funeral Home located on 1827 Hull Street Road from 2-4 p.m.

Her funeral will be held at First Baptist Church of Southside Richmond on Nov. 21 starting at noon.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective Sergeant J. Flores at (804)-646-6670 or Crime Stoppers at (804)-780-1000.