With gun control talks fresh on the nation’s agenda, Jefferson County, Tennessee is dealing with another murder by gun—but this one involves children. An 11-year-old boy stands accused of killing an 8-year-girl after the two reportedly argued over a puppy on Saturday.
According to the Washington Post, the boy wanted to see his young neighbor’s puppy and when she refused, he went into his house and got hold of his father’s gun. He used a 12-guage shotgun to shoot the girl as she stood in her yard. When authorities arrived, they found her “lying on the ground with a gunshot to the chest,” Jefferson County sheriff Bud McCoig said.
Authorities haven’t released the names of the children involved, but a woman named Latasha Dyer told ABC affiliate WATE that her daughter, McKayla, was the one killed. She also told the news outlet she previously complained to the principal at White Pine School about the 11-year-old harassing her daughter. “When we first moved White Pine, the little boy was bullying McKayla," she said on Sunday. "He was making fun of her, calling her names, just being mean to her. I had to go to the principal about him, and then he quit for a while. And then, all of a sudden yesterday, he shot her.”
On Monday, a judge ordered the boy to be held in a juvenile center while he waits for his next court hearing, scheduled to take place October 28. McCoig says the case could be transferred to adult court.