Police in Tennessee charged an 11-year-old boy with murder after he shot dead an 8-year-old girl because she did not let him see her puppy, according reports Monday. The boy was held in a juvenile court.
The incident occurred in White Pine, about 40 miles east of Knoxville, Saturday. The boy shot the girl, identified as McKayla Dyer, with his father’s 12-gauge shotgun, Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig said, according to the Associated Press (AP).
The boy, who was not identified, was talking to three girls who were outside the window of his mobile home. He asked Dyer if he could see her puppy and the girl refused, following which he shot her in the chest, McCoig reportedly said. A neighbor, Misty Edwards, said that her niece was playing with the girl and witnessed the incident, AP reported.
Dyer was unresponsive at the site, and was declared dead after being admitted to a hospital, McCoig said, according to Reuters.
"It is a sad, sad situation,” McCoig said. "We hope this don't ever happen again."
Dyer and the boy reportedly studied in the same school, where the girl was a second grader and the boy was a fifth grader. According to her mother Latasha Dyer, the boy had reportedly bullied her daughter on previous occasions.
"He was making fun of her, calling her names, just being mean to her," Latasha said. "I had to go the principal about him and he quit for a while, and then all of a sudden yesterday he shot her," she added.
A hearing for the boy was scheduled in a court Monday.