A boy is dead and two others injured after a Florida teen allegedly attacked a family in a BallenIsles Country Club home in Palm Beach on Monday.
Palm Beach Post reports that 17-year-old Corey Johnson was arrested on Monday after he reportedly killed a 13-year-old boy, Jovanni Sierra. He’s also accused of stabbing and injuring Elaine Simon, 43, and her son, Dane Bancroft, 13. The incident occurred during a sleepover that the suspect was attending. Detectives said Johnson told them that his “Muslim faith” prompted him to carry out the attack.
Johnson reportedly told police that he was sleeping over at the home of a friend, Kyle Bancroft, when he woke up at around 4 a.m. and decided he wanted to kill the Kyle’s mother Elaine, along with Kyle’s brother, Dane, and Dane’s friend, Jovanni. Johnson said that Dane previously made fun of Islamic faith, while Jovanni reportedly said that celebrities were the real “gods.” The comments apparently upset Johnson greatly.
Jovanni Sierra Brand was stabbed to death Monday morning in Palm Beach Gardens staying over at a friend’s house. His 13th birthday was Monday. They celebrated Sunday. Here’s a video of the celebration. @WPTV pic.twitter.com/NG2SMjDCwj
— Andrew Lofholm (@AndrewLofholm) March 14, 2018
Prior to going to his friend’s home, Johnson said he read the Koran in hopes that the book would “give him courage to carry out his intentions,” the arrest report read. Later, the teen allegedly slit Jovanni’s throat and stabbed him. The young boy, just one day shy of his 13th birthday, passed away from his injuries. The teen then reportedly stabbed Elaine Simon and her son, Dane. Both remain in the hospital, recovering from their injuries.
Simon, a family attorney, said that on the morning in question, she heard Jovanni moaning and whimpering at around 6 a.m. She walked upstairs to check on him when Johnson allegedly attacked her with the knife, stabbing her around 12 times before she fell down a flight of stairs. Dane witnessed the attack and intervened to protect his mother. Johnson stabbed the boy around 32 times, according to police. Kyle wasn’t hurt during the incident.
At some point, someone went to a nearby residence and called 911. When police arrived, Johnson had himself barricaded himself in a room inside the home. The city’s SWAT team took him into custody a little after 8 a.m.
Simon was said to be in “good” condition, according to a spokesperson at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. The spokesperson couldn’t comment on Dane’s condition due to his age.
A grand jury will decide whether Johnson will be tried as a juvenile or adult. He faces charges of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Corey Johnson/Police Handout]