An 11-year-old is being held on charges of first-degree murder for allegedly shooting his 8-year-old neighbor, MaKayla Dyer. The Jefferson County, Tenn., children had been arguing over her new puppies, according to authorities when the older one retrieved a shotgun from an unlocked closet in his home.
County Sheriff Bud McCoig told the Washington Post that MaKayla was playing on her front lawn Saturday when the boy aimed and fired the gun through a window in his home. She was hit in the chest and died at a local hospital from her wounds.
The sheriff told reports the gun was stored in the closet, which wasn't locked.
The boy is being held in a juvenile facility on a judge's orders, pending his next court hearing Oct. 28. The case could be transferred to an adult court, McCoig said.
A manager at the mobile home park where the shooting took place said MaKayla, another girl and the alleged shooter were near the boy's window, laughing and giggling. He asked to see the girl's puppy, but MaKayla said no. And then she "turned around, looked at her friend and said, 'Let's go get the —' and never got 'puppies' out," Chastity Arwood said. Arwood said the boy then threw the gun out the window.
MaKayla's mother, Latasha Dyer, said the boy bullied her daughter at home and at school and that she had spoken with the principal about it, which ended the name-calling.
This deadly shooting happened Saturday, less than 48 hours after a gunman opened fire in rural Oregon.