Police say an 11-year-old Tennessee boy used his father’s 12-gauge shotgun to “intentionally” shoot an 8-year-old girl in the chest on Saturday, killing her.
The unidentified boy has been charged with first-degree murder.
“It’s a sad situation,” Jefferson County Sheriff G.W. “Bud” McCoig told the Knoxville News Sentinel. “It’s always a sad situation with any death. But it hurts when it’s children.”
"I hope the little boy learned his lesson, because he took my baby’s life and I can’t get her back”
- Latasha Dyer
McKayla Dyer was playing outside when the suspected shooter asked to see her puppy, her mom, Latasha Dyer, told WATE. McKayla told the boy, “no,” and he allegedly responded by shooting her in the chest.
Latasha Dyer said the boy had previously harassed her daughter.
“When we first moved to White Pine, the little boy was bullying McKayla,” Dyer said. “He was making fun of her, calling her names, just being mean to her. I had to go to the principal about him, and he quit for a while. And then, all of a sudden, yesterday he shot her.”
Cops were called to the scene just before 7:30 p.m. Saturday. McKayla was later pronounced dead at Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System.
There were five other children inside the boy’s home at the time of the shooting, said McCoig, who added that he was not aware of any previous visits by law enforcement to the house.
Dyer said her family is heartbroken.
“She was a precious little girl, she was a mommy’s girl,” the mother said. “No matter how bad of a mood you were in, she could always make you smile.”
“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.”