9-year-old Michigan boy charged with murder after he shot his mother with a rifle, court documents reveal
In a shocking incident in Michigan, a 9-year-old boy has been reportedly charged with the murder of his mother in a shooting incident in their home, according to court documents. He is facing a felony firearm charge as well. Documents filed Tuesday in St. Joseph County Circuit Court reportedly show the woman was shot with a rifle. It is still unclear if the child will be tried as an adult or a juvenile.
Initially, the child was only facing a felony firearm charge. His identity has not been revealed and the woman's name is being reported as Pauline Randol. St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough told WWMT-TVthat the mother's body had been discovered on Monday morning about 160 miles west-southwest of Detroit in Fawn River Township, where she had been shot to death. The exact details of the killing have not been revealed.
As for the accused, he is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluations at a state-run juvenile justice facility, St. Joseph County Sheriff Bradley Balk told the news outlet that forensic experts are evaluating his state of mind.
"It should never have happened," Alecia Pieronski, of Sturgis who claimed that her daughter went to school with the boy said and added that teachers at Congress Elementary School in Sturgis had contacted her and told her a second-grade boy was involved in the incident. She also said that her daughter had an encounter with the child that left her worried.
"The knowledge they had at the time was that he shot and killed his mother," Pieronski said adding that it was the same child who had allegedly threatened to stab her 8-year-old daughter to death in February 2018. Neither McDonough nor Balk confirmed these statements.
"He told her that he wanted to get a knife and stab her and watch her die, and watch her mother cry," Pieronski said. After the incident, she said that she had alerted the principal of the matter and asked that he be expelled. "My want was to remove him from the school and protect the children. I do feel in my whole heart the teachers and principals did everything they could do. Maybe this a wake up call to other schools when you have that troubled child screaming for help to do something," Pieronski said.
However, the boy's sister, Harley Martin told 24 hours News 8 that he wasn't a bad fellow and that he loved his mom. She says that her mother had adopted the boy about two years ago, from a troubled situation. Martin said his biological mother used meth during her pregnancy and added the boy has a history of mental health issues, that he had "just recently started snapping" and that he was on a new medication. "He doesn't know what he did. He doesn't understand what's going on right now at all," Martin said. "He doesn't understand why he can't come home or anything," she said describing the boy's state of mind after he was detained.
Martin, however, mentioned that even her mother had some inclination about his dangerous tendencies. She said her mother had expressed concerns about the boy's mental health and that he might hurt someone. "She had told her doctor one time she was so scared she was raising the next serial killer," Martin said. But no one in the family expected him to hurt Randol, she said.
The school has released a statement saying that they are unable to release a lot of information at the time. "Our community has experienced a tragic event. As a district, it is our goal to provide support to our students, staff, and the community. 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," Sturgis Public Schools Superintendent Arhur Ebert said in a statement.
A neighbor also told another news outlet, WXMI that when they heard about the incident, they immediately suspected it was the boy. "My wife and I both, when we heard that the woman was shot, we both looked at each other and said 'I bet it was him,'" Joseph Lancaster said. "The little boy ... I have one the same age and I've got smaller ones, and he would stand in the tree line over there and point his BB gun at him and shoot at them." He added that while he didn't know the affected family well, he did always see the boy alone. "It's just crazy — scary," Lancaster said. "You know, he could have shot anybody around here."
The case is under investigation.