CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A 7-year-old boy was saved from a vicious attack by a pit bull over the weekend.

A neighbor told NBC Charlotte how he opened fire, killing the dog. The attack happened Saturday afternoon while the child was playing on Anastasia Court in northwest Charlotte.

NBC Charlotte talked to two neighbors who jumped in to help the little boy. One neighbor used a chair as a weapon and the other used a gun, which ended the threat.

“I was hitting the dog in the face with the leg of the chair,” said neighbor Stafford Beasley.

Authorities say a pit bull attacked a 7-year-old boy, after breaking loose from its collar on a walk.

“He had a little boy on the ground, biting him, mauling,” Beasley said.

That’s when neighbors went on the attack against the dog. One neighbor, a Marine Corps veteran, said he got his gun and opened fire, killing the dog.

“The dog would not go down right away,” the neighbor said. “I shot this dog maybe three or four times. It was a big dog, all muscle. He did not go down, so I shot him about four or five times."

"My other neighbor said, ‘Look he’s down, he’s dead’” he added.

Off-camera, the boy’s family tells NBC Charlotte he had more than 60 stitches. They say he’s now back home recovering from surgery on his leg and ear.

“I am not about killing animals, but at this time, this dog had viciously tried to eat this little boy, literally,” said the neighbor who shot the dog.

“I think he did a noble thing, the dog needed to be stopped,” Beasley said. “It (the dog) was in attack mode. To me, it wanted to kill.”

The boy’s family tells NBC Charlotte they’re very shaken up, but thankful for the community jumping in to help.

Animal Care and Control said the dog’s owner will be cited. It’s not clear at this point if anyone will face criminal charges.

Authorities say there is no previous history of problems with the dog. It was taken to the shelter to be tested for rabies.

The case remains an active investigation.