A 9-year-old boy has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting his own mother to death inside their southern Michigan home.
Pauline Randol, 51, was found dead early Monday morning in Fawn River Township. She had been killed with a rifle, according to authorities.
The boy, who has not been named, was charged with one count of open murder and one count of felony firearm. A neighbor told WWMT-TV in West Michigan that he's in the second grade at Congress Elementary School in Sturgis.
The daughter of the victim, told WOOD-TV in Southwest Michigan that her brother, who is adopted, has a history of mental health issues and that he recently began acting out.
“She [Randol] had told her doctor one time she was so scared she was raising the next serial killer,” Harley Martin told the outlet.
Another daughter of the victim, Reagan Martin, told the Detroit News that Randol was trying to get the boy help.
“She eventually got an appointment … but that was supposed to be for Tuesday, and it was too late,” she said.
A Facebook post that appears to have been posted by Randol in late April states, "My child is missing skills that I have to help them learn in a way that will not create further damage."
The child is now reportedly undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at a state-run juvenile justice facility. It isn’t clear if he was charged as an adult or a juvenile and the circumstances of the killing haven’t been released.
"I want people to know that he's not a bad kid," Harley Martin told WOOD-TV. "He loved his mom. I don't want people to think he did not love his mom."
She said her brother doesn't even know what he did, adding that he asked for his mother during a Tuesday court appearance.
"He doesn't know what he did. He doesn't understand what's going on right now at all," the sibling said. "He doesn't understand why he can't come home or anything."
The mother adopted him a few years back, WOOD-TV reports.
Harley Martin said that the boy's biological mother used methamphetamine when she was pregnant with him and that he has been acting out more recently, which resulted in him starting up on a new medication.
Neighbor Joseph Lancaster told WOOD-TV that the young suspect exhibited violent tendencies before, once using a bow and arrow to shoot at his grandchildren.
The township where the shooting occurred, located about 160 miles west-southwest of Detroit, is reeling from the tragedy.
"Our community has experienced a tragic event. As a district, it is our goal to provide support to our students, staff, and the community,” Sturgis Public Schools Superintendent Arthur Ebert said in a statement. “We are limited in what we can share due to privacy laws and the sensitive nature of this tragedy. The St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department is leading the investigation regarding this event that occurred outside of school, including the release of information about the investigation.”
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