Boy, 11, kills girl, 8, over her puppy
A simple childish spat over a puppy led an 11-year-old boy to shoot and kill his eight-year-old neighbour in the US state of Tennessee, the girl’s grieving mother said.
Latasha Dyer said her daughter was playing outside when the boy asked to see her puppy. Little McKayla said “no”.
Shortly after, she was shot in the chest.
Her mother Latasha Dyer told WATE 6 news on Sunday (Oct 4):
“When we first moved to White Pine, the little boy was bullying McKayla.
“He was making fun of her, calling her names, just being mean to her. I had to go the principal about him and he quit for a while and then all of a sudden yesterday he shot her.”
The boy was inside his home when he shot the girl with his father’s 12-gauge shotgun at about 7.30pm on Saturday (Oct 3).
The gun was legally owned.
An emotional Mrs Dyer said from the front steps of their home:
“I want her back in my arms, this is not fair. Hold and kiss your babies every night because you’re never promised the next day with them.
“I hope the little boy learned his lesson because he took my baby’s life – and I can’t get her back.”
She described her daughter as “a precious little girl, she was a mummy’s girl, no matter how bad of a mood you were in, she could always make you smile”.
Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig said the boy has been charged with first degree murder.
A judge ordered him held in a juvenile detention centre until the next hearing, which was set for Oct 28.
The sheriff told AFP: “It’s a tragic incident we’ve had that an 11-year-old would take an eight-year-old’s life."
The small town near Knoxville was left reeling even as the local school and churches stepped up to help people come to grips with the “shocking instance,” he said.
Sheriff McCoig declined to release any further details, explaining that five other children live in the boy’s home and two other children live in the girl’s home:
“We’re trying to protect them, as much as they’ve been hurt by this tragedy.
“Our prayers are with the families that are involved in the tragic incident.”