The encounter happened Thursday at a Circle K in Peoria, about a 25-minute drive northwest of Phoenix, according to reports.
Witnesses told police that Michael Adams, 27, walked up to a 17-year-old who was listening to rap music and stabbed him the throat, Phoenix’s Fox 10 reported. The teen – identified as Elijah Al-Amin –reportedly stumbled outside the Circle K and died.
Adams allegedly told officers he felt “unsafe” by the teen’s choice of music. He allegedly said he had been attacked before by people listening to rap, the station reported.
He allegedly said he wanted to prevent an attack, but admitted the victim did nothing to provoke him.
The Arizona Department of Corrections said Adams had been released from jail two days before the alleged stabbing. Adam’s lawyer told Fox 10 that his client has a history of mental illness and was released from jail without medication.
“They released him to the streets with no medication, no meds, with no way to care for himself,” Adam’s lawyer said during a court appearance this week. “This is a failing of the Department of Corrections. This is easily foreseeable and that is an issue.”
Adams was booked into a Maricopa County jail on suspicion of first-degree premeditated murder, the Arizona Republic reported. He is being held a $1 million cash bond and will appear in court next on July 15, the report said.