11-yr-old boy shoots 8-yr-old girl over puppy


A simple, childish spat over a puppy led an 11-year-old boy to shoot and kill his eight-year-old neighbor 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”, and shortly after she was shot in the chest.

Dyer was overcome with emotion as she spoke to the local television station from the front steps of a home in White Pine, Tennessee.

She said, “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.”

Expressing her grief, the mother of eight-year old girl said, “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 mommy’s girl, no matter how bad of a mood you were in she could always make you smile”.

Jefferson County Sheriff (Police) McCoig told AFP news agency that the boy had been charged with first-degree murder. A judge ordered him held in a juvenile detention center until the next hearing, which was set for 28 October.

“It’s a tragic incident we’ve had that an 11-year-old would take an eight-year old’s life,” he said in a telephone interview.

At a press conference, McCoig said, “The boy was inside his home when he shot the girl with his father’s 12-gauge shotgun at about 7:30 pm. The gun was legally owned. The two were neighbors and in this neighborhood all the children would play together and knew each other and all attended school together.”

Later on, neighbors who were caring for the family’s puppies said they seemed to be looking for the girl. One could be seen laying morosely next to a makeshift memorial of balloons, flowers and stuffed animals on the doorsteps of the grieving family.