A teen accused of a fatal stabbing spree at a sleepover admitted to the attack and said it was due to his Muslim faith, Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Clint Shannon announced Monday.
The 17-year-old converted to Islam after watching radical Islamic propaganda, which encourages believers to kill those who doubt the religion, the suspect said. The teen admitted to killing the 13-year old boy after allegedly stabbing him and two others with a knife, CBS News reported. The teen also read the Quran before attacking to “give him courage to carry out his intentions,” he admitted.
The FBI, Jupiter Police Department and school district police investigated the teen after they discovered he was watching the radical Islamic videos that encouraged violence. The boy had been under investigation for his “violent tendencies,” Shannon said. He also recently withdrew from his high school.
The teen waited for everyone in the house to fall asleep, including a 15-year-old friend and his 13-year-old younger brother, another 13-year-old boy and the children’s mother, Elaine Simon, before stabbing and killing 13-year-old Jovanni Brand on his birthday, police reported.
Simon allegedly ran upstairs after hearing moaning, when the teen stabbed her around 12 times before her son came running at the teen. The son tried to protect her but ended up being stabbed around 30 times, according to the affidavit.
The boy and his mother ran to a neighbor, who contacted the police. Police found Simon’s 15-year-old son unharmed when they arrived at the home. The suspect locked himself in a room, but the SWAT team captured him.
Although charged as a minor, a grand jury can vote to charge him as an adult. He faces one murder and two attempted-murder charges. The FBI is also investigating the attacks.