WHITE PINE (WATE) – Curled up next to a small memorial for an 8-year-old girl who was shot and killed Sunday is a small puppy.
Neighbors and friends set up the memorial on the front porch of MaKayla Dyer’s home. It includes a cross, wreath, candle, cross, stuffed toy, balloons, and cards.
The girl’s mother, Latasha Dyer, said their 11-year-old neighbor shot her after he asked MaKayla Dyer to show him one of her puppies and she said “no.” The boy has been charged with first degree murder.
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The little girls two puppies are being taken care of by a neighbor. “They’ve been running to the porch they know is their home.” explained neighbor Chasity Arwood, saying she’s been trying to keep them occupied.
People who know the families say they feel for both sides. “My heart hurts because a little girl lost her life too young. And the little boy has to go through what he’s going through,” Arwood said.
Multiple neighbors told WATE 6 On Your Side both families have moved out of the neighborhood, at least temporarily.
The visitation for MaKayla Dyer is scheduled Wednesday from 5-7p.m. at Cooke-Campbell Mortuary in Maynardville. Funeral services will begin at 7 p.m. Dyer will be buried at Haun Cemetary in Luttrell at 2 p.m. on Thursday.