An 11-year-old Tennessee boy has been charged with murder for allegedly killing an 8-year-old neighbor after a fight over her puppy.
The suspect, whose name has not been released, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of McKayla Dyer, according to multiple reports.
Jefferson County Sheriff G.W. "Bud" McCoig did not immediately return a request for comment, but told WATE that the shooting occurred on Saturday near the little girl's home.
When authorities arrived, they found McKayla on the ground with a wound to her chest. She later died at the hospital.
Neighbors told WVLT that the children had been arguing over a puppy before the boy allegedly shot McKayla.
"The little boy had the bedroom window open, showing her the puppy," Chasity Arwood said. "[He] asked the little girl if he could see her puppy. She laughed and giggled and said 'No,' then turned and looked at her friend and said, 'Let's go get the…' and never got the puppy out."
McCoig told WLVT that the 12-gauge shotgun belonged to the boy's father.
McKayla's mother, Latasha Dyer, told WATE that the boy had bullied her daughter before the shooting.
Dyer said she had complained to officials at White Pine Elementary School, which both kids attended.
"When we first moved to White Pine, the little boy was bullying McKayla," Dyer said. "I had to go to the principal about him and he quit for a while. Then all of a sudden yesterday he shot her."
The school's principal, Bill Walker, told WATE that grief counselors were available to help the students deal with the shooting.
"It's very difficult," he said. "We got together as a staff yesterday, had our emotional time with each other to try to prepare for today. I don't think you can prepare for when you walk in and see students that are hurting. They've done a very good job of keeping them in check and watching over students."