An Arizona man is behind bars after he allegedly killed a teen inside a convenience store, then claimed the boy’s rap music threatened him.
AZCentral reports that 27-year-old Michael Paul Adams admitted that he slit the throat of 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin when he heard the boy playing rap music in his car, according to police. The incident happened in a Circle K convenience store parking lot in Peoria, at around 1:42 a.m.
Security footage showed the teen walking into the store, with Adams entering the store behind him a few seconds later. Adams circled around the inside of the store once then stopped by a soda machine where the boy was standing. Adams then allegedly took out a pocket knife and stabbed the victim in the back before slitting his throat, according to police.
The boy’s father said the teen stopped by the store on his way home from work. Adams was a complete stranger.
Elijah fled the from the store but collapsed near a gas gump. When first responders arrived, they attempted CPR on the victim and rushed him to the hospital. He was pronounced dead at 2:05 a.m.
Police located Adams shortly after. The suspect admitted to stabbing the teen and admitted the victim didn’t provoke him in any way before the attack, police said.
Adams was released from Arizona State Prison on Tuesday, two days before the deadly incident. According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, he spent a year behind bars for aggravated assault and theft.
Adams reportedly told police that Elijah’s music made him feel unsafe after he was previously attacked by people listening to rap music. He allegedly added that people who listen to rap music are a threat not only to him, but to the community.
The suspect was arrested and booked into a Maricopa County jail on charges of suspicion of first-degree premeditated murder. His bond is$1 million bond.
Meanwhile, Adams’ lawyer, Jacie Cotterell, is questioning if the man had access to mental health services upon his prison release. The attorney reportedly indicated that Adams was “set up for failure.”
“To be specific, he was given resources, he wasn’t given means to get to those resources,” the lawyer said.
A spokesman with the Arizona Department of Corrections responded that Adams was not considered “seriously mentally ill” at the time of his release.
“It’s too easy as a society to shake our head and say well, they committed a crime, it’s too bad, we have jails for that when really, what they need is treatment. They need a bed instead of a cell,” Cotterell told FOX 10.
‘So Many Dreams’
Elijah’s father said his son had dreams of working in the hotel industry and traveling.
“He wanted to be hotel management, he wanted to move to Seattle, he wanted to move different places,” his father said. “He was a good kid, very good kid, always willing to help kids, help people in general.”
Elijah, set to start his high school senior next month, was just two weeks shy of his 18th birthday.
The boy’s mother, Serina Rides, told FOX 10 that he worked at both Taco Bell and Subway in hopes to save up enough money for a car. She said she knew something was wrong on Thursday when she didn’t hear from him. It wasn’t like him to not check in.
“I got a call from [Al-Amin’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.”
“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.”
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[Feature Photo: Elijah Al-Amin/Handout; Michael Paul Adams/Police Handout]