US & Canada

US boy, 11, held for shooting dead eight-year-old neighbour

McKayla Dyer Image copyright WATE 6 ON YOUR SIDE
Image caption McKayla was playing outside her home at the time of the shooting

An 11-year-old boy in the US state of Tennessee has been held on suspicion of shooting dead an eight-year-old neighbour in a row over a puppy.

The boy has been charged with first-degree murder as a juvenile.

According to police, he shot the girl on Saturday evening with his father's shotgun after she refused to let him see her puppy.

The girl has been identified as McKayla Dyer. Her mother Latasha said that the two children went to the same school.

"He was making fun of her, calling her names, just being mean to her. He quit for a while and then all of a sudden yesterday he shot her," Ms Dyer told WATE-TV.

"I want her back in my arms," she said.

Image copyright WATE 6 ON YOUR SIDE
Image caption McKayla Dyer's mother Latasha (right) said that the boy had previously been bullying her daughter

Neighbour Chastity Arwood told WBIR News that she heard the shot ring out and saw McKayla lying on the grass.

"Trying to comfort her mama and her aunt and her grandma and her grandpa and her sister and her brother was the hardest thing I ever had to do," Ms Arwood said.

The boy is scheduled to appear in court again on 28 October.

The Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit organisation that compiles data on gun violence in the US, says 559 children aged 11 or under have been killed or injured in the United States in gun violence so far this year.