White Pine Elementary student shot, killed; 11-year-old charged with murder

McKayla Dyer (Courtesy: Dyer Family)
McKayla Dyer (Courtesy: Dyer Family)

WHITE PINE (WATE) — A shooting Saturday evening in White Pine left an 8-year-old girl dead and an 11-year-old boy arrested on first-degree murder charges.

Officers responded to the call at 7:26 p.m. Saturday of a little girl shot at 3223 Robin Road in White Pine.

Jefferson County Sheriff G.W “Bud” McCoig said an 11-year-old boy living next door shot the girl in the chest with a 12-gauge shotgun, from inside his home along Robin Road. Sheriff McCoig said the gun belonged to the boy’s father. The boy’s name is not being released at this time.

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According to her mother, MaKayla Dyer, 8, 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,” said MaKayla Dyer’s mother, Latasha Dyer.

SLIDESHOW: MaKayla Dyer
SLIDESHOW: MaKayla Dyer

Latasha Dyer said 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 Latasha Dyer. “When we first moved to White Pine, the little boy was bullying McKayla,” Latasha Dyer 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 6 On Your Side reached out to the boy’s family for comment, but received no answer.

Latasha Dyer says 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 Latasha 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.