A 27-year-old man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder after he stabbed a 17-year-old teen for listening to rap music. He told police that the music made him feel “unsafe.” Witnesses stated the teen didn’t say a word to the man before he came up behind him and stabbed him in the neck.
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After spending time with his girlfriend after he got off work, the teen, Elijah Al-Amin, stopped at a convenience store in Peoria, Arizona, at around 11:30 pm. Witnesses explained that the teen had been listening to music in his car before entering the store.
Michael Paul Adams reportedly came up behind the teen and grabbed his neck before stabbing him, CNN reported. The attack was unprovoked as witnesses at the scene told authorities Al-Amin was minding his own business at the time of the attack.
Adams was found near the store when officers arrived with blood on his arms and hands. A pocketknife was found on his person. He had just been released from jail after a 13-month sentence on July 2.
When interviewed by police, Adams told them his reasoning for the unprovoked murder. “Adams stated rap music makes him feel unsafe, because in the past he has been attacked by people (Blacks, Hispanics, and Native American) who listen to rap music. Adams further stated, people who listen to rap music are a threat to him and the community,” according to the police report.
Adams, who is white, also told them he felt he needed to act “proactive rather than reactive.” Adams is being held on $1 million bail. Serina Rides, the teen’s mother, spoke to CNN telling them her son was not in a gang and didn’t do drugs.
“My son didn’t drink, smoke, do drugs, party. He loved music and working. He was focused on his goals,” she said. Rides revealed her son’s aspirations to be a successful businessman.
“He started mowing lawns at 13 and saving money because he wanted to own his own business very young,” she said. “He recruited other kids to work for him in the lawn business, and he was so good. I was so proud of him.”
Adams’ former defense lawyer told the media her at-the-time client suffered from mental illness, but the Department of Corrections stated he was not designated as an inmate who suffers from such illnesses, New York Post reported.