Horrified neighbours heard a woman scream: "My baby, she's dead!" coming from a house where a four-year-old girl was killed by a dog.
The little girl was named locally as Alice Stones.
Armed police were scrambled to a house in Milton Keynes, Bucks., at 5pm on Tuesday (31/1).
They tragically discovered the young girl in the back garden of the end-terraced property in the Broadlands area of the town.
She died at the scene and residents were ordered to remain indoors while armed cops hunted the beast as it roamed nearby streets.
After several minutes the hound was shot dead by a police marksman.
Pictures show a blue tent surrounding the dead dog outside the garden where the little girl was savaged.
Neighbours today (Wed) recalled hearing screams coming from the property at the time of the attack.
One said: “At first I thought the noise was from someone’s telly but it just went on and on, like a high-pitched squeal.
“I opened my window and could just hear screaming and sobbing. I didn’t know what was going on.
“My friend who lives nearer the house says she heard a woman shouting ‘my baby, she’s dead, she’s dead’ over and over. It’s just awful.”
Another householder said: “Those of us who live in Broadlands been told not to leave our homes.
“Police told us it’s an incident involving a child and a dog but that’s all they’ve said.
"We just hope and pray the child is ok. There are so many police and blue lights about – it’s really worrying.”
A female resident said: “I had no idea what was going on but there were a dozen police cars and three ambulances with their blue lights on.
“I heard a policeman shouting in the street ‘stay inside, do not come out’. A friend of mine said another officer warned them to expect a gunshot.
“It was absolutely terrifying and I locked my front and back doors just in case. At that stage I didn’t know they were after a dog.”
Thames Valley Police say no arrests have been made and no one else was injured in the attack.
Superintendent Matt Bullivant said: “This is an absolutely tragic incident, in which we believe that a child has been killed after being attacked by a dog.
“Clearly, we are in the very early stages of an investigation, and it would be wrong and unhelpful to speculate as to the exact circumstances of this incident at this point.
“However, in order to ensure public safety, a decision was made to destroy the dog involved, and this has been done humanely.
“I understand how much of an impact this will have on the community and on the wider public, and people can expect to see a large police presence in the area this evening and beyond while our investigation continues.
“I would like to reassure people that there is no reason to believe there is any danger to the wider public at this time.”