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Eleven-year-old charged with murder in Tennessee

A juvenile has been put in custody after allegedly shooting a neighbor girl with his father's gun. The incident has occurred amid renewed debate over gun ownership in the United States.

Tennessee authorities charged the boy with first-degree murder on Monday, after an argument led to the shooting death of a young girl in a trailer park in the town of White Pine.

The unidentified 11-year-old boy had asked to see puppies belonging to eight-year-old McKayla Dyer. When the girl refused, the boy shot her in the chest with his father's shotgun. The girl was declared dead at the hospital.

"It is a sad, sad situation," Jefferson County Sheriff G.W. "Bud" McCoig told Reuters news agency. "We hope this don't ever happen again."

McKayla's mother, Latasha Dyer, told local TV station WATE that her daughter had been bullied by the boy when they first moved to White Pine.

"I want her back in my arms. It's just not fair," the mother said tearfully.

The boy, who was sentenced to a Knoxville juvenile detention center on Monday, will appear in court on October 28, where a judge will decide if he should be tried as a juvenile or as an adult, according to Reuters.

The incident follows a recent mass shooting at a community college in rural Oregon that led to the deaths of nine people and ignited another debate over the United States' gun ownership laws.

blc/msh (Reuters, AFP)

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