Arizona law enforcement officials arrested a man who allegedly killed an innocent teenager in a brutal stabbing early Thursday morning. Although the teen didn’t know the suspect or apparently do anything to his alleged killer, authorities say the man committed the fatal act simply because he felt threatened by the music the teen was playing.
On Thursday, police in Peoria, Ariz. charged 27-year-old Michael Paul Adams with the first-degree, premeditated murder of 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin. According to the Arizona Republic’s review of court documents, Adams allegedly slit the boy’s throat and stabbed him with a pocketknife at a Peoria Circle K gas station.
Superior court records say Adams told investigators that he felt threatened by the hip-hop music the teen was playing—not the teenager himself—explaining that people who play rap music are a threat to him and his community. Adams reportedly said he was being “proactive, not reactive” because the musical genre makes him feel “unsafe” after rap music listeners attacked him in the past.
Al-Amin had just finished working his shift at Subway at 11:30 p.m., visiting his girlfriend before heading to the Circle K around 1:42 a.m. Surveillance footage from the convenience store shows Al-Amin walking into the store, followed by Adams a few seconds later, reports the Republic. After Adam allegedly stabbed the teenager, Al-Amin ran out of the store where he collapsed near the gas tanks. He was transported to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead around 2:05 a.m. on Thursday, authorities say. After a brief search, the cops claim they found Adams covered in blood and reportedly admitting he was “involved” in the heinous slaying.
Adams, whose criminal history includes theft, disorderly conduct, assault with a weapon and assault on a corrections officer, was released from prison on Tuesday. Adams’ attorney says that he had no access to mental health services after he was released although a statement from an Arizona Department of Corrections spokesperson says that Adams was “not designated seriously mentally ill.”
“He was a good kid,” El Amin’s father told KVOA in a tearful interview. “He wanted to be hotel management, he wanted to move to Seattle, he wanted to move different places.”
Michael Paul Adams is being held on a $1 million bond.
Elijah Al-Amin would have turned 18 in two weeks.