By Briana Whitney; Bryan Grabauskas |
Posted: Tue 7:22 PM, Jul 09, 2019
Updated: Tue 7:22 PM, Jul 09, 2019
PHEONIX (CNN) — Police in Peoria, Arizona, are investigating after a 17-year-old was killed at a Circle K gas station early Thursday morning.
Police say the teen was inside the store when the suspect, who had just been released from prison, came up and stabbed him in the neck.
“you’re going to the store and then your son just doesn’t come home.”
Friends say 17-year-old Elijah Alamin had big plans to own his own business one day.
But on the fourth of July, police say Elijah was at the soda machine inside this Circle K when 27-year-old Michael Adams came up behind him and slit his throat.
Areanna Ivery, who worked with Elijah at Taco Bell for a year, said they bonded over Elijah’s passion.
“He talked about rap music all the time,” Ivery said. “He loved rap artists.”
Ivery said Elijah would memorize lyrics for a much deeper purpose than the music itself.
“He just always said that rap artists spoke to him, that it just gave him a sense of purpose in a way,” Ivery said. “That he went through a lot of the things that they went through.”
Never did Ivery think that would be the reason Elijah was killed.
“Man,” Ivery said. “Just — he had a lot of dreams that he told me about that he really wanted and i just wish…if i could talk to him one more time i’d say dude go follow those deals that you wanted to do everyone deserves that.”
The police report said Adams told police the 17-year-old was listening to rap music in his car, and he believes people who listen to rap are a threat to him and the community.
So he said he stabbed him with a pocketknife.
According to Adams’ attorney, Jacie Cotterell, he was just released from the Department of Corrections two days before the incident after serving a 13 month sentence.
“This is a disabled person,” Cotterell said. “And he’s been released into the world, and left to fend for himself. And two days later, this is where we are.”
Cotterell said the Department of Corrections failed Elijah, and that Adams was put back on the streets with no resources or psychiatric help, even though he had a past of severe mental illness and violent crimes.She wants policy to change so no other teen has their life senselessly cut short.
Adams’ attorney says her client needs to be treated for his mental illness, not sentenced to prison.
The Arizona Department of Corrections said Adams wasn’t designated as seriously mentally ill.