A teenage Muslim spending the night with friends stabbed three people, killing one, “because of his Muslim faith,” according to police in Florida.
The suspect read the Quran “to give him courage to carry out his intentions,” according to an affidavit.
Police reports indicate the FBI had the teen under surveillance for a year and was preparing affavadits to bring charges against him for threats and attempts to contact ISIS.
The details of the crime come from Local10.com Managing Editor Peter Burke, who reported 17-year-old Corey Johnson now faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder for the early Monday stabbings at the BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens.
Police said officers arrived at the home after a 911 call and found Elaine Simon and her son, Dane Bancroft, 13, suffering from stab wounds. They were treated for their injuries.
Then the officers found Jovanni Brand dead.
Johnson was spending the night at the home of his friend, while Brand was there as a guest of the friend’s older brother, police said.
A probable cause affidavit, compiled by Officer Jennifer Brashear, explained: “Elaine heard what she believed to be Jovanni moaning and went upstairs to see what was going on. As she got to the top of the stairs, Johnson lunged at her with a knife, cutting her multiple times.”
The mother reported to police Dane charged Johnson “to protect his mother and Johnson then began to stab Dane.”
The older son, Kyle Bancroft, wasn’t injured, police reported.
The report said Johnson told police he bought the knife only days earlier and carried it with him.
“Johnson advised at 4 a.m. he realized that everyone in the house was asleep. At that time, Johnson made the decision to kill Elaine, Dane and Jovanni in their sleep,” a police affidavit said.
He then attacked Jovanni and cut his throat, police said.
“In his statement, Johnson advised he stabbed the victims because of his Muslim faith,” the affidavit said, explaining Johnson complained Jovanni was idolizing famous people, calling them gods. Johnson also claimed he felt Dane “made fun of” his Muslim faith.
A police report said Johnson read the Quran from his phone, just before the attack, “to give him courage to carry out his intentions.”
Kyle also told police he and Johnson would watch “extreme” jihad videos that “encourage death to non-believers.”
In the wake of the arrest, the Palm Beach Post is reporting Johnson had come to the attention of the FBI and local law enforcement in January 2017 after receiving information the teen supported ISIS and had reached out to the terror group to join them. An interview with a sheriff’s detective confimed Johnson’s terrorist sympathies. The teen’s mother and grandmother told law enforcement he had “recently began discovering religion” and had been studying the Quran.
He was linked by investigators to online threats to ‘kill every single infidel student” at a Catholic in Britain. The unspecified threats “were so severe in nature that up to 100 students were removed from the school fearing some kind of attack.” Despite Facebook’s censoring of responsible conservative sites, Johnson’s swastika adorned Facebook page was not blocked.
The FBI chose not to charge Johnson in 2017 because he was a juvenile and “believed a redirection approach would be the most beneficial regarding his conduct.” The agency received permission to mirror Johnson’s computer activity last March. The teen was told to cease all ISIS activity online and to make no contact with the British school.
By last summer, Johnson was once again making online posts that drew attention. In February 2018, the FBI said it had all the evidence it needed to charge Johnson. Agents assured local police on March 5 the affadavits for his arrest would be “coming in the next several weeks.”