Girl, 8, dies in east Tenn. shooting; 11-year-old arrested for murder

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Courtesy: The Dyer family/WATE

WHITE PINE, Tenn. (WATE) – A shooting Sunday morning in White Pine left an 8-year-old girl dead and an 11-year-old boy arrested on first-degree murder charges.

Jefferson County Sheriff G.W “Bud” McCoig said the boy shot the girl in the chest with a 12-gauge shotgun from inside his home along Robin Road. Sheriff McCoig added that the gun belonged to the boy’s father. The boy’s name is not being released at this time.

McKaylaDyer (Courtesy: Dyer Family)
MaKaylaDyer (Courtesy: Dyer Family)

According to her mother, Latasha Dyer, MaKayla was found lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to her chest. She was taken to Morristown-Hamblen hospital, where she later died.

“She was 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,” Dyer said.

She added that her daughter was outside playing when her next door neighbor, an 11-year-old boy, asked to see her puppy. She said her daughter told the boy “no,” and shortly after the, 11-year-old boy shot her. The shooting wasn’t the first time their family had problems with the boy, according to Dyer.

“When we first moved to White Pine, the little boy was bullying MaKayla,” she 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.”

WATE reached out to the boy’s family for comment, but received no answer. Dyer said she’s heartbroken and their entire family is devastated.

“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,” said Dyer.

“I hope the little boy learned his lesson because he took my baby’s life and I can’t get her back.”

Both children were White Pine Elementary students, according to Sheriff McCoig.

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