Lawsuit: Parents of boy who killed girl, 8, over puppies "grossly negligent"

Makayla Dyer

WVLT

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. -- The parents of an 11-year-old boy who fatally shot an 8-year-old girl after she refused to show him her puppies​ are being sued for $10 million.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed Monday in Jefferson County, Tennessee, on behalf of the girl’s mother, Latasha Dyer, argues that the boy’s parents had a duty to keep their son from harming others with a firearm.

Makayla Dyer was playing outside her home in White Pine, about 40 miles east of Knoxville, in October when the boy asked her to get the puppies, and shot her after she refused.

Authorities say the boy fired the fatal blast from a bedroom window of his family’s trailer as his parents watched a football game on television, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The lawsuit obtained by the paper asks for $5 million in punitive damages and accuses the parents of “willful, wanton, grossly negligent conduct” for allowing the boy access to a loaded firearm without supervision. The victim’s parents are asking for an additional $5 million for medical and funeral expenses and pain and suffering.  

The boy was found guilty of first-degree murder in February and sentenced to remain in state custody until he turns 19.