An 11-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting his 8-year-old neighbor when she refused to show him her puppies got the 12-gauge shotgun used in the shooting from an unlocked closet in his mobile home in White Pine, Tenn., police say. Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig tells the Washington Post the gun belonged to the boy's father. A neighbor tells WBIR that MaKayla Dyer, 8, was playing outside with neighbors around 7:30pm on Saturday when the pair began speaking through an open window of the boy's home. "He asked the little girl to see her puppies. 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." McCoig says the boy "retrieved a gun" and shot MaKayla through the window, before throwing the gun outside.
Emergency personnel found MaKayla, who lived nearby with her mother and older siblings, "lying on the ground with a gunshot to the chest," McCoig says. When the boy's mother was told what happened, "she slammed the door, locked it, and we never seen her after that," the neighbor adds, per the Guardian. MaKayla's mother, meanwhile, says the boy had a history of "just being mean to her. I had to go to the principal about him, and then he quit for a while." The superintendent of a juvenile detention center says the "very tiny" boy, who weighs about 55 pounds, is being kept in a regular "pod" with other juveniles aged 12 to 17 until a hearing Oct. 28, reports CNN. He's the youngest person to be held there on a murder charge during the superintendent's 44-year career. "It is the most pitiful case on both sides," he says. Meanwhile, a heart-wrenching photo on Twitter shows one of MaKayla's puppies on her porch, apparently waiting for her to come home.