The girl disappeared Friday while swimming near Gumarrirngbang outstation, the Northern Territory News reported. The girl, whose family lives in the remote community of Maningrida about 200 miles east of Darwin, was with some other children and an adult.
"Witnesses have told police that a crocodile attacked the male adult before pulling the girl underwater,'' Police Sgt. Shaun Gill reported.
The rangers who shot the crocodile cut open its stomach.
"We just lost our little girl," Charmana Namarnyilk told the newspaper. "We are having a church service. We came together and we're helping one another."
Saltwater crocodiles, the largest living reptiles, are protected in Australia.