Four large dogs attacked and killed a man believed to be in his 70s in Hawaii on Tuesday, police said. 

A witness told police he heard a commotion outside his home in the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates residential subdivision on Tuesday morning, officials said. He chased the dogs away after he saw a man being attacked in the roadway.

The victim was unconscious when officers arrived just before 9 a.m. local time. He was taken to a hospital for treatment, but he succumbed to his injuries. The victim has not yet been identified. An autopsy will be performed to determine his cause of death.

“There is currently no evidence that the victim provoked this horrific attack,” Hawai’i Island Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz said. “This incident is a senseless tragedy that could have been avoided.”

The dogs’ owners were not home at the time of the attack, but they’ve since surrendered all four dogs along with a litter of 10 puppies to the Hawai’i County Animal Control and Protection Agency, officials said. Police are looking into claims that the four dogs had previously been reported as stray animals.

Officers are investigating the attack as a possible case of negligent failure to control a dangerous dog. Local law makes it a felony crime if someone fails to take reasonable measures to prevent an unprovoked dog attack resulting in serious bodily injury or death. The dog owners, if convicted, could face up to a $25,000 fine, 10 years in prison, restitution and/or the humane euthanization of the dogs involved.

There have been several deadly dog attacks across the U.S. this year. A 6-year-old boy died in a Florida dog attack in July. In May, a woman was killed and an 8-year-old child was injured in a dog attack in Indiana. In Iowa, a baby was killed and a woman was seriously injured earlier in May.

Dog attacks in Louisiana and in Idaho in January each left children dead. In February, a man in his 80s was killed and three others were hurt in a dog attack in Texas. A Pennsylvania woman died after she was attacked by a neighbor’s dog in March.

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