Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Tim Stelloh

An 11-year-old Tennessee boy was charged with shooting an 8-year-old girl to death with a 12-gauge shotgun after an argument over puppies Saturday, NBC affiliate WBIR reported.

A neighbor told the station that the girl, MaKayla Dyer, had been playing with neighbors on Saturday night in White Pine, outside Knoxville.

She started talking with the boy, who has not been identified, through an open window at his home.

Image: MaKayla Dyer
MaKayla DyerWBIR

"He asked the little girl to see her puppies," the neighbor, Chasity Atwood, told WBID. "She said no and laughed and then turned around, looked at her friend and said, 'Let's go get the — ' and never got 'puppies' out."

The boy had already shot her in the chest.

Dyer was transported to Morristown-Hamblen Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The boy is being held in juvenile court on charges of first-degree murder.

At Dyer's school on Monday, principal Bill Walker told reporters that "it's not just the school that's hurting — it's the whole community," he said, adding, "We remember her smile and her beautiful face and her interaction with her classmates."

The boy has been charged with first-degree murder in juvenile court, WBIR reported.