Michael Adams,a white man faces charges in the July 4 killing of 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin at a convenience store in suburban Phoenix, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Thursday.Michael Adams was charged with first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of an African American youth for playing rap music.
July 4. Police said the teen was standing by a soda machine when Adams stabbed him in the back and slit his throat. Adams reportedly told police he attacked the boy because Elijah was listening to rap music. “What makes this offense so tragic is we had a 17-year-old who did absolutely nothing. As a father myself of a 16-year-old, I can’t imagine what this young man’s family is going through and it is a significant loss to our community,” Montgomery said.
Al-Amin’s mother, Serina Rides, said her son was going to be a senior at Apollo High School. She also said he was in ROTC and wanted to join the Marines. “The world really missed out because that man took my son’s life,” said Rides.
At a press conference on Thursday, Montgomery did not directly address claims by Adams’ attorney that his client is mentally ill. He also didn’t comment on how Adams’ release from prison on a prior assault conviction was handled. The release occurred two days before the convenience store stabbing.