A man has been arrested after he stabbed a 17-year-old boy to death and slit his throat because the teen’s rap music made him feel ‘unsafe.
27-year-old Michael Paul Adams launched at the boy and stabbed him in the back before slitting his throat around 2 am on July 4.
Adams said to police that he attacked the teen after he heard him listening to rap music in his vehicle before entering a convenience store, and it made him feel ‘unsafe.’
He told cops that he had been “attacked by people … who listen to rap music,” whom he described as black, Latino and Native American. He then believed that “people who listen to rap music are a threat to him and the community.”
17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin, who would have turned 18 in two weeks, collapsed outside the convenience store while trying to run away from Adams. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Adams was charged with 1st-degree murder and is being held in lieu of $1 million bond.
According to Andrew Wilder, a spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Corrections, Adams had been released from jail two days before the incident. He had previously faced many charges, including assault with a weapon, theft, marijuana violation, and aggravated assault of a correctional officer.
His lawyer, Jacie Cotterell, said to AZ Central that Adams had been homeless and didn’t have access to mental health resources.
“To be specific, he was given resources, he wasn’t given means to get to those resources,” Cotterell explained.
But Adams was not designated ‘seriously mentally ill’ and was given contact information for services in the community, “such as continuing care, housing, welfare as well as other community resources” before his release.
“The tragic death is terrible, and Mr. Adams will have to answer for his alleged actions,” Wilder added.
The teen’s father, Rahim Al-Amin, said to 12 News that Elijah had ‘so many dreams’ and that he wanted to work in hotel management.
“Two o’clock came, three o’clock came, four o’clock came, I kept calling, calling, calling, texting, texting, texting, and I wasn’t getting a response,” he expressed. “I just had a feeling that something wasn’t right.”
Elijah’s mother, Serina Rides, said her son was a rising high school senior and had been working to save up for a car.
“I got a call from [Elijah’s] father, saying, ‘Something’s wrong, this is not like Elijah, he’s not home yet,’” Rides said. “Out of the blue, somebody’s going to do this to you? I can’t understand.”
She added: “I’m so numb and hurt to the core of my soul. But I have to stay focused because I know that’s what he would want and to make sure justice is served for him.”
Sharing their last conversation, Rides told Fox News station: “My last words to him was, ‘Elijah, I love you,’ [and] he said, ‘I love you too, mom.’
“Those were his last words to me and I’m at peace with that.”
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