A 9-year-old charged in his adoptive mother's killing had reportedly shown signs of violence leading up to her death, according to family members.
Pauline Randol, 51, was shot to death on May 6 at her Fawn River Township, Michigan, home. The boy, who is not being identified because of his age, allegedly used a hunting rifle owned by his father to kill her.
Randol had confided in relatives that she feared for her safety and that of others.
"She was so scared she was raising the next serial killer," Harley Martin, one of Randol's daughters, told the Detroit News.
But Reagan Martin, another daughter, said she doesn't think the boy intended to take his mother's life.
"I don’t think he meant to do it. I think was probably a scare tactic," she told MLive.com.
But neighbors painted a different picture. One told WXMI he heard screaming from the house at around 11 a.m. May 6.
"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,'" said Joseph Lancaster.
Lancaster added that the boy would allegedly terrorize his grandchildren, shooting at them with a BB gun.
"He could have shot anybody around here," he added.
A woman whose child went to school with the boy told WWMT that he had threatened to stab her daughter last year.
“He told her that he wanted to get a knife and stab her and watch her die, and watch her mother cry,” Alecia Pieronski told the station.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department said the boy is in the process of undergoing mental evaluations.
An attorney for the boy, T.J. Reed of Sturgis Law, told InsideEdition.com Monday in a statement that he cautions against jumping to any conclusions.
"Based on the severity of the charges and the age of the accused, it is important to keep focused of the future and long-term impact these proceedings and charges may have on a child this age," the statement read.
"At this time I am unable to comment on the facts or status of the case. It is important to allow this case to properly move through the legal process and to not pre-judge this child based on partial or unknown facts."
The boy has not yet entered a plea. It has not yet been determined if he will be charged as a juvenile or adult.