Man Fatally Stabbed Arizona Teen Because He Was Listening to Rap Music

A man accused of killing a 17-year-old boy in Peoria, Arizona, reportedly said that the teenager’s rap music made him feel “unsafe.”

According to CNN, Michael Paul Adams, 27, fatally stabbed Elijah Al-Amin in a convenience store early on Thursday morning. CNN reports that police arrived to the scene at 1:42 a.m., where they found witnesses trying to save Al-Amin’s life.

Al-Amin was then taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead just after 2:00 a.m.

A probable-cause statement obtained by the Washington Post said that Adams told police he had heard Al-Amin listening to rap music in his car outside of the convenience store. The genre of music made Adams feel “unsafe,” according to the report, which was also obtained by CNN.

“Adams stated rap music makes him feel unsafe, because in the past he has been attacked by people (Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans) who listen to rap music. Adams further stated, people who listen to rap music are a threat to him and the community,” the statement read, according to CNN.

The Peoria Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

According to AZ Central, Adams had been released from the Arizona State Prison Complex on July 2 — just two days before allegedly killing Al-Amin.

The outlet reports that Adams allegedly used a pocket knife to stab Al-Amin in the back before slitting his throat. He was arrested near the convenience store, according to AZ Central, where he was found with blood on his clothes and admitted to a police officer that he was involved in the stabbing.

The Post reports that Adams was charged with first-degree premeditated murder. According to CNN, he is being held at the Maricopa County Jail on $1 million bail.

Adams’ former attorney Jacie Cotterell said his client has a history of mental health issues, according to CNN, but the Arizona Department of Corrections said he was not designated as “seriously mentally ill,” the Post reports.

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Serina Rides, Al-Amin’s mother, told CNN her son was going to be a senior in high school, worked at Subway and Taco Bell, and was trying to get a third job as well.

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

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