A 10-year-old boy killed by a dog was visiting a friend after school who desperately tried to get help.
The terrified boy screamed for help as the Pitbull-Staffie type dog savaged the youngster at the house after lessons, neighbours said.
Next door neighbour Tracey Andrews said: “The boy who lives in the house came running out shouting for help.
“He said the dog was attacking his friend, biting his legs.
“One of the other neighbours ran in to help but it was impossible to get the dog off. It was a horrible experience.”
The boys are both pupils at nearby Cwm Ifor Primary School at Penyrheol, Caerphilly, South Wales – and walked home together before the attack at 3.55pm.
School head Gareth Rees said: “I’m speaking with staff and we are all very shocked.”
The dog was shot by police marksmen and its owner is being interviewed by police.
Neighbours said the dog was “known to be trouble” – and rumoured to have bitten another man and killed a cat in recent weeks.
Parents living on the street in Penyrheol, Caerphilly, say they returned home from the school run to see police.
One shop worker said the boy was just visiting the house when he was attacked.
He said: “I think the family that live there were just looking after the dog for someone else.
“It happened in the house I heard. It wasn’t in the street.
“The boy was just visiting. He didn’t live there.”
One mum, who lives just a few doors away from the scene, said: “I had no idea what happened until I came home and saw the police.
“I can’t imagine what the family are going through.”
One nearby resident, who asked not to be named, said her daughter went to school with the boy who had died.
“He was a lovely boy and so harmless. It’s just so sad. He was so young,” she said.
Shop worker Tarjit Sandhu, 67 said the dog had recently been brought into the area and a family volunteered to look after it for a few hours as a favour to the owner.
He said: “The little boy who died was at the house with his little friend when the dog attacked.
“It is a fighting dog, an American pitbull, it hasn’t been in the village very long.
“A few days ago, it was tied up outside the shop where I work when a man customer bent down to stroke it.
“The dog bit him on the arm, it was quite a nasty bite.”
Another resident said that it was a “massive” dog and had “lunged” at their three-year-old son a few days ago.
They said: “I took our son down to the local shop a few days ago, and he was down there then and he was lunging at my son.
“My son is three years old and I had to pick up my son just to move around the dog because of the size on him. He was absolutely huge.
“He wasn’t a pet – he was taking the owner for a walk, you know. He was massive.”
Police with 12 force vehicles sealed off the road shortly after the attack took place and dozens of officers have remained at the scene.
The boy had returned home from lessons just before the tragedy.
Chairman of governors Lindsey Whittle said: “It is just too tragic for words. I’m in tears just thinking about what happened.
“I’ve spoken to the head and it is going to be very difficult to tell all his friends and classmates what has happened.
“This is an entire village in shock. I’m heartbroken for his poor parents and we are all devastated.”
Gwent Police said: “We were called to an address in Pentwyn, Penyrhoel, Caerphilly at around 3.55pm on Monday 8 November, following reports of a dog attack.
“Officers attended, including specially-trained firearms officers, alongside paramedics from the Welsh Ambulance Service, who confirmed that a 10-year-old boy had died at the scene.
“The dog was destroyed by firearms officers and no other animals were involved in the attack.”
Police said investigations into the attack were continuing.
Chief Superintendent Mark Hobrough said: “Officers will be making further enquiries at this time and will remain at the scene as the investigation progresses.
“It is possible that you may see ongoing police activity in Caerphilly as part of this work. You may have also seen an increased presence earlier today while officers were attending the incident, but please do not be alarmed.
“If you have concerns or information then please do stop and talk with us.”