An 11-year-old boy is facing murder charges for the shooting death of his next-door neighbor, McKayla Dyer. According to Raw Story, the young suspect — whose name has not been released due to his age — reportedly shot the 8-year-old girl following a dispute over a puppy.
It has been reported that the dispute began when the boy asked McKayla if he could see her puppy and she told him he couldn’t. He reportedly left shortly after the argument, but returned with his father’s 12-gauge shotgun and shot McKayla in the chest. She was rushed to the Morristown-Hamblen hospital where she was later pronounced dead from the single gunshot wound.
This is McKayla Dyer. She was 8-years-old when she was killed by an 11-year-old in a non-gun-free zone. pic.twitter.com/rQEBcAx2uj
— Dab Aggin (@DabAggin) October 5, 2015
Needless to say, her parents are devastated. However, her mother Latasha Dyer has revealed this incident wasn’t her daughter’s first dispute with the boy. Apparently, he’s been bullying her daughter since they moved to the White Pine mobile home park. During a news interview, Latasha recounted the harsh treatment her daughter suffered as a result of the boy’s relentless bullying, reports WKRN. She also gave a brief statement regarding her grief-stricken family’s reaction to the devastating loss.
“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 the principal about him and he quit for a while and then all of a sudden yesterday he shot her. I want her back in my arms, this is not fair, hold and kiss you’re babies every night because you’re never promised the next day with them.”
The disheartening news has left the citizens of Jefferson County, Tennessee quite shaken. On Oct. 5, White Pine Elementary School principal Bill Walker held a press conference to discuss the shooting. Since both of the students attended the school, both faculty and students are upset about the series of events that have taken place.
“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 said. “White Pine community has experienced a tragedy, with a shooting death of a student. The staff of White Pine School and Jefferson County Schools are saddened by this incident but want to assure parents and community that counselors are on site to assist students and staff,” Walker said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved from both families.”
Neighbors and other members of the community have also shared their perspective of the horrific events. Many have also criticized the boy’s parents for keeping firearms within reach. Although, it is unclear how the boy actually got to the firearm, what is clear is that there is a life lost.
— Kayla Strayer (@kaylastrayer) October 6, 2015
— Mona Nair (@monanair) October 5, 2015
According to WIBR, the boy has been charged with first-degree murder. Although he’s currently being charged in juvenile court, a judge will decide whether the case should be transferred to adult court due to the nature of the crime. Investigators with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office confiscated a 12-gauge shotgun and BB pistol from his parents’ home. At this point, it is still too early to determine whether or not the boy has any type of mental investigation will be ongoing.
The victim’s mother says she hopes that the boy has learned a serious lesson. “I hope the little boy learned his lesson because he took my baby’s life and I can’t get her back.”
[Image via Twitter]