Atrocity plays out on social media
EMERGENCY services were called to the scene of the Woolwich attack at 2.20pm, and within 30 minutes the incident was setting social media alight.
Pictures of a crowd of people surrounding bodies on the ground were soon circulating widely, in a manner that has quickly become familiar to internet users who follow major breaking news stories.
Like the recent Boston bombings, just moments after a barbaric attack, social media was providing a running commentary.
However, this time there was a chilling difference as the perpetrators seemed to actively seek attention from the smartphone cameras of dozens of passers-by.
Shocking video footage quickly emerged of one of the Woolwich attackers, heavily bloodied and saying, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth".
In the background of this video, several more onlookers can be seen filming the carnage with their camera phones before being shepherded away by police officers. By 3.30 Twitter was already chattering about a beheading, and whether a soldier had been the victim.
Eye witness accounts on individuals' pages quickly racked up thousands of hits including those of aspiring rapper "Boya Dee", whose commentary was shockingly raw.
"I just see a man with his head chopped off right in front of my eyes," he wrote.