A Florida teenager is accused of murdering a 13-year-old boy and injuring two others in a stabbing attack, which he said was “because of his Muslim faith.”
Local media reports that 17-year-old Corey Johnson will face charges of first-degree murder after officers attended a scene in Palm Beach Gardens on Monday where 13-year-old Jovanni Brand was dead, while mother Elaine Simon and her 13-year-old son Dane Bancroft were also found suffering from stab wounds.
According to local police, Johnson was attending a sleepover at a friend’s house, when around 4 a.m. he decided to carry out the attack while other guests were asleep.
“Johnson advised at 4 a.m. he realized that everyone in the house was asleep,” wrote Officer Jennifer Brashear in a probable cause affidavit. “At that time, Johnson made the decision to kill Elaine, Dane, and Jovanni in their sleep.”
“Elaine heard what she believed to be Jovanni moaning and went upstairs to see what was going on,” she continued. “As she got to the top of the stairs, Johnson lunged at her with a knife, cutting her multiple times.”
Johnson reportedly carried out the attack because Jovanni was idolizing celebrities as Gods, which offended his Muslim faith while he also felt Bancroft “made fun” of his religious beliefs.
“In his statement, Johnson advised he stabbed the victims because of his Muslim faith,” Brashear wrote in the affidavit, adding that he was reading the Qu’ran beforehand to “give him the courage to carry out his intentions.”
Johnson is currently detained at a juvenile detention facility, where a grand jury will soon decide to charge him as an adult or minor.