11 Year Old Boy Allegedly Kills 8 Year Old Girl Over Puppy
Police are reportedly calling it an "intentional shooting."
An 11-year-old Tennessee boy intentionally shot and killed an 8-year-old girl, police said, and witnesses say it was because the girl wouldn't let him see her puppy.
According to police, the boy, who has not been identified, shot and killed Makayla Dyer on Saturday, at a White Pine mobile home park. White Pine is a small town located about 40 miles east of Knoxville.
During a weekend press conference, Jefferson County Sheriff G.W. "Bud" McCoig said the 11-year-old has been charged with delinquency by first-degree murder, in what investigators have deemed an "intentional shooting," knoxnews.com reported.
McCoig declined to discuss a potential motive in the slaying. Calls for comment from The Huffington Post were not returned on Tuesday.
The victim's mother, Latasha Dyer, told WATE-TV in Knoxville that her daughter was playing outside when the boy leaned out the window of a neighbor's trailer and asked to see the girl's puppy. Makayla told the boy "no," and then he shot her in the chest, Dyer said.
"Seeing a baby laying there and not being able to help -- it is really heartbreaking. I mean, it is. It's heartbreaking," neighbor Chasity Arwood told Knoxville's WBIR-TV.
Makayla was taken from the scene to Morristown-Hamblen Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The gun, a single-shot 12 gauge shotgun, reportedly belonged to the boy's father.
"The two were neighbors and in this neighborhood, all the children would play together and knew each other and all attended school together," the sheriff said.
Dyer told WATE-TV the boy had bullied her daughter at White Pine Elementary School, where the girl was a second-grader and the boy was in the fifth grade.
"He was making fun of her, calling her names, just being mean to her," she said. "I had to go the principal about him and he quit for a while and then all of a sudden yesterday, he shot her."
Principal Bill Walker did not address the allegations during a Monday news conference.
"The emotions of our staff are so great when something like this happens that we're all trying to love on and pray for and protect all of students," Walker told reporters.
The principal said counselors are on site to help assist students and staff.
The 11-year-old boy made his first court appearance on Monday. However, because he is a juvenile, the proceeding was closed to the public. He is reportedly scheduled to appear in court again on Oct. 28.
McCoig told Newsweek he would like to see the case moved to an adult court.
"They're angry at the loss of their child," the sheriff said. "They want him prosecuted. We're doing everything we can to do what's legally and rightfully possible."
Makayla's funeral is planned for Wednesday at Cooke-Campbell Mortuary Chapel in Maynardville. Her family has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover burial expenses. You can donate here.
"She was a precious little girl, she was a mommy's girl, no matter how bad of a mood you were in, she could always make you smile," Dyer told WATE-TV. "I hope the little boy learned his lesson because he took my baby's life and I can't get her back."