He Played Rap Music in His Car. A Man Nearby Felt 'Unsafe'

Cops: Michael Paul Adams says he fatally stabbed 17-year-old whose music scared him
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2019 7:51 AM CDT

By Michael Paul Adams' own words, cops say, 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin didn't say or do anything threatening to the 27-year-old man in a Peoria, Ariz., convenience store on July 4: It was simply the rap music Elijah was listening to in the parking lot that prompted Adams to suddenly and fatally stab him. Per court documents cited by CNN, witnesses say Adams walked up behind the teen early Thursday inside the Circle K and stabbed him on the right side of his neck, with no provocation beforehand. Cops found a bloodied Adams near the store and took him into custody; Elijah was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Adams, who the Arizona Department of Corrections says got out of prison just two days prior, told cops "rap music made him feel unsafe because in the past, he was attacked by people who listened to that music genre," per CBS 5.

Adams added, per the documents, that "people who listen to rap music are a threat to him and the community" and that he believed he was being "proactive rather than reactive" in keeping others "safe" from Elijah, who was black, white, and Latino. The attorney who represented Adams in his initial court appearance says he has mental illness and was released from prison without any meds or access to them. An ADC rep, however, says in a statement that Adams "was not designated seriously mentally ill." Adams has been charged with first-degree murder and is in Maricopa County Jail with $1 million bail; a preliminary hearing is set for Monday, per the Arizona Republic. On Twitter, meanwhile, a #JusticeforElijah hashtag is circulating. "Everyone loved him," his mom tells CNN, adding that her son had two jobs, didn't drink or smoke, and started his own lawn-mowing business on the side. "He's my baby, and I have to bury him." (More murder stories.)

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