PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The murder of 17-year old Elijah Al-Amin at a Circle K in Peoria on July 4, 2019, made national headlines. The Apollo High School student was standing by a soda machine in the early morning hours, when Michael Adams pulled out a knife and stabbed Elijah in the back, then slit the teen's throat, according to court records.
Adams was set to go on trial next month, but that's not going to happen.
The murder suspect was found dead in his jail cell on April 17, at the 4th Avenue Jail in Phoenix. The exact cause of death is under investigation. "No parent should ever have to feel this pain," said Al-Amin's mother, Serina Rides.
"I miss my son on a daily basis," said Raheem Al-Amin, Elijah's father. "I think about him every single day." Adams reportedly told police he attacked the boy because Elijah was listening to rap music. "It just immediately brought all the pain back, like a Band-Aid just ripped off," said Rides. "It doesn't bring my son back."
Rides and Al-Amin have struggled the past few days with how they feel about the death of their son's killer. They do not believe justice has been served. "I don't look at that as being justice because at the end of the day, he was still human," said Al-Amin. "He made a mistake and I look at it like that because it's a life gone. He has a daughter. I know what she is going through."
"This definitely is a hate crime," said Serina Rides, the mother of the 17-year-old who was stabbed to death outside a Peoria Circle K.
However, Elijah's mom and dad are relieved that they won't have to go through a long, drawn-out trial and face their son's killer in court. Their focus now is having their son's legacy live on. "I can move on and look for different ways to help keep my son's memory alive and do something he wanted me to do," said Rides.