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Pictured: Girl, 4, killed by family dog in Milton Keynes attack as neighbours describe mother's 'piercing screams'
1 February 2023, 10:11 | Updated: 1 February 2023, 16:49
A four-year-old girl who was mauled to death by a dog has been named locally as Alice Stones.
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She was attacked in her back garden in Milton Keynes on Tuesday evening before armed police killed the dog.
Thames Valley Police confirmed on Wednesday that it was a family pet.
Neighbours were devastated at the news of her death and described the horrifying moment they heard her mother's screams.
"We heard desperate screams last night. I heard 'she's dead! She’s dead!' one resident told The Sun.
"It sounded like Louise shouting. They were piercing screams."
"It's horrendous. Alice goes to school with my children. It's so upsetting.
"The police rushed here very quickly. I could not believe it.
"There is a dog there, it's a big brown dog. I've only seen it at the house."
Ambulance and police rushed to the attack in Netherfield shortly after 5pm on Tuesday.
Neighbours were evacuated as they were warned they could hear gunfire. Armed police are believed to have surrounded the dog and shot it dead.
A man who was returning home at the time said: "When I tried to go look at my back garden even, I got told to go back inside. I was basically on lockdown.
"About an hour later two armed police officers came knocking on my door. They requested if they could come into the property to ascertain what the property looked like upstairs and downstairs so they could get an idea of what next door would look like."
He said he was later prompted to leave. He believed the family had the dog for no more than about eight weeks.
No arrests have been made in connection with the attack.
In an update on Wednesday, Superintendent Marc Tarbit said: "The child's family are being supported by specially-trained officers and we'd ask that their privacy is respected.
"An investigation is currently under way to fully understand the circumstances but we currently believe that this was a tragic, isolated incident and there is no threat to the wider community.
"Accordingly, no arrests have been made at this time.
"I can confirm that the dog was a family pet and was put down by police on the scene yesterday evening."
Officers are working to establish the breed of the dog.
Superintendent Matt Bullivant previously 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."
He added: "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.
"Anyone with concerns should feel free to approach our officers and ask questions, but I urge people not to speculate about the circumstances, especially on social media platforms.
"I also understand that this case is likely to attract attention from the media. With this in mind I would like to ask that the privacy of the family involved is respected at this very difficult time. It is impossible to imagine what they must be going through at the moment.
"We will provide further updates when we are in a position to do so."