A Massachusetts man stabbed a pit bull terrier to death after it attacked and injured two of his pet dogs near Lincoln Grove Park, Chicopee, on Saturday night.

Officers responded to the scene at around 9:20 p.m. EDT after receiving reports of an animal attack in the area. They arrived to find the owner of the two pets which were attacked, holding his wounded dogs while the dead body of the pit bull was discovered nearby. The owner told the authorities that he was walking his dogs on leashes when the pit bull broke free through a cardboard slot next to an air conditioner in a window of the house where it lived and launched an attack on his pets.

“We think this was a dog who was freaked out by the fireworks, went through a window, and happened to encounter other dogs on a walk. Unforgettably it was not a social dog so a fight ensued,” said Hannah Orenstein, an animal control supervisor at TJ O’Connor Animal and Adoption Center, NBC/CW-affiliated WWLP reported.

pit bull
A pit bull in the menacing dogs area of the Henderson Animal Shelter in Auckland, New Zealand, July 27, 2016. Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

The owner initially tried to yell at the pit bull in order frighten it away but his efforts were in vain. He also reportedly tried to shield his pets by shoving and kicking the pit bull but it continued to bite the dogs. “As a last resort, fearing his dogs would be killed…He removed a pocket knife and stabbed the attacking dog,” Michael Wilk, police public information officer, said, Mass Live reported.

The investigators later learned that the pit bull had a history of violent behavior toward other animals. In fact, it had attacked one of the pet dogs a few weeks prior to the latest attack.

“You’re responsible for your dog if its violent and there’s a history with it and it does attacks someone or someone else’s pets, you’re going to be liable for that. The owner can come after you,” said Wilk.

The two dogs sustained puncture wounds in the attack and were transported to a nearby animal shelter. Officials from TJ O’Connor center arrived to assist the pit bull owner. “At this time the investigation is closed as the person was protecting his dogs and himself,” Wilk said.