Police say man cut Arizona teen’s throat because rap music made him feel unsafe

News

Michael Adams

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Police say a man accused of fatally stabbing a 17-year-old in the throat at an Arizona convenience store told them he felt threatened because the teen had been listening to rap music.

The incident occurred in Peoria, Arizona, near Phoenix, early Thursday.

Witnesses told police that the man, who’s been identified as Michael Paul Adams, 27, walked up behind the teen, grabbed him and stabbed him in the neck, according to a probable cause statement obtained by CNN affiliate KPHO/KTVK.

Family members said the teen, Elijah Al-Amin, had gotten off of work about 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday and had spent some time with his girlfriend before stopping at the store.

Police said a witness was trying to help Al-Amin by applying pressure to his neck when they arrived at 1:42 a.m. Police and fire personnel provided medical care and he was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:05 a.m.

The witnesses told police that Al-Amin hadn’t done or said anything to provoke the attack. One said Adams didn’t say anything to the teen before stabbing him.

Police stopped Adams as he walked away from the store. He had blood on his left forearm, hand and foot, and officers found a pocket knife on him. He was taken into custody without incident.

Adams had been released from prison on July 2, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Adams told a detective that he stabbed Al-Amin in the back and cut his throat, according to the statement.

He said Al-Amin didn’t do anything threatening but that the youth had been listening to rap music in his car in the parking lot, according to the statement.

“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,” the report said.

He told police that he felt threatened by the music, not by Al-Amin. Adams is white, and Al-Amin was black, white and Latino.

“Adams felt he needed to be ‘Proactive rather than reactive’ and protect himself and the community from the victim,” the documents said.

Adams has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder and is being held at the Maricopa County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

Jacie Cotterell, who represented Adams at an initial court appearance but is no longer his attorney, said Adams has a history of mental illness, according to KPHO/KTVK.

The Department of Corrections said Adams wasn’t designated as seriously mentally ill.

No public defender has been appointed.

‘He loved music and working’

Al-Amin’s mother told CNN she didn’t understand how anyone could think he was a threat.

“My son is so special and so loved and everyone loved him,” Serina Rides said. “He’s so compassionate and caring, so caring about everyone.”

She said he was going to be a senior in high school and was turning 18 on July 28.

He worked at Subway and Taco Bell and was hoping to get a third job.

“My son didn’t drink, smoke, do drugs, party. He loved music and working. He was focused on his goals,” she said.

She said he wanted to be just like Jay-Z, who Forbes says is the first billionaire rapper.

“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.”

Rides was getting ready for her son’s funeral on Monday.

“My son’s not aggressive. My son’s never been in any gang in any affiliation with anything,” she said. “He’s a good boy. He’s a good baby. He’s my baby, and I have to bury him. I’m on my way to bury him right now.”

By David Williams, CNN

Trademark and Copyright 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News