US boy, 11, kills 8-year-old neigh­bor af­ter a fight over puppy

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A sim­ple child­ish spat over a puppy led an 11-year-old boy to shoot and kill his eight-year-old neigh­bor in the U.S. 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 was shot in the chest.

“When we first moved to White Pine, the lit­tle boy was bul­ly­ing McKayla,” Latasha Dyer told WATE 6 news in a video posted on the sta­tion’s web­site Sun­day.

“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.”

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

“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,” she said. “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 Bud McCoig said the boy has been charged with first de­gree mur­der.

A judge or­dered him held in a ju­ve­nile de­ten­tion cen­ter un­til the next hear­ing, which was set for Oct. 28, McCoig told AFP.

“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.

The small town near Knoxville is reel­ing, but the lo­cal school and churches have stepped up to help peo­ple come to grips with the “shock­ing in­stance,” he said.

The boy was in­side his home when he shot the girl with his fa­ther’s 12-gauge shot­gun at about 7:30 p.m. Satur­day, McCoig said. 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,” he said at a press con­fer­ence.

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