PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Peoria police are investigating after a 17-year-old was stabbed to death at a Circle K early Thursday morning. 

Police say at about 1:45 a.m. Elijah Al-Amin was inside the store when the suspect, 27-year-old Michael Adams came up behind him and stabbed him.

WATCH: Teen stabbed over "rap music"

Peoria police found Elijah outside of the store, lying face down by the fuel pumps. 

According to court documents, Adams stabbed the victim on the right side of his neck. Adams fled the area following the incident. 

[RAW VIDEO: Michael Adams' initial court appearance]

Elijah was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead at 2:05 a.m. 

Officers found Adams walking near the crime scene. An officer noticed that he had a pocket knife and had blood on his left forearm, left hand and foot. Adams was later arrested after he admitted to officers he was involved in the stabbing. 

During questioning, Adams told officers Elijah "did not do anything to threaten him."

Adams admitted that he heard the victim was listening to "rap music in this parking lot."

Areanna Ivery, who worked with Elijah at Taco Bell for a year, said she and Elijah bonded over his passion for rap. 

“He talked about rap music all the time. He loved rap artists," she said. "He just always said that rap artists spoke to him, that [rap] just gave him a sense of purpose, that he went through a lot of the things that [the artists] went through."

It was that love of rap that led to his death.

According to court documents, Adams yelled at detectives and stated that  "rap music made him feel unsafe because in the past, he was attacked by people who listened to that music genre."

Adams told detectives he "needed to be proactive than reactive and protect himself and the community from the victim." 

Adams was later booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail with a count of first-degree murder. 

The murder happened just two days after Adams was released from prison.

His attorney, Jacie Cotterell, told the judge during his initial court appearance on the murder charge that Adams has a history of mental illness but the Arizona Department of Corrections released him with no medication and without a courtesy ride to get access to mental health services, even though the department knew he was on mental health probation.

"They released him to the streets with no holdover meds, no way to care for himself," Cotterell said. 

"This is a disabled person," she said. "And he’s been released into the world, and left to fend for himself. And two days later, this is where we are."

ADC said Adams wasn't designated as seriously mentally ill and officers took him from Yuma to Maricopa County. ADC said after that, he wasn't in the department's custody and "had no further legal authority over him."

Cotterell said Adams needs to be treated for his illness, not sentenced to prison.

She wants to see more resources and psychiatric help put in place for inmates while they're behind bars, as well as policy changes.

“I believe that this crime was preventable," she said. "Policy is all well and good, but when policy fails, I think a reasonable person and reasonable people would agree policy needs to change."

As for Elijah, Ivery said he had big dreams.

"I just wish, if I could talk to him one more time, I’d say 'Dude, go follow those dreams that you wanted.' Everyone deserves that," she said.

Elijah was a student at Apollo High School.


We were saddened to hear the heartbreaking news about Elijah," a Glendale Union High School District spokeswoman said Friday evening. "On behalf of the district and Apollo High School, we extend our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends."

Adams' bond was set at $1 million cash-only.

The full statement from ADC can be read below.

By law, Inmate Adams was released from ADC custody on July 2 on an absolute discharge, after completing his prison sentence. Arizona and/or federal privacy laws preclude the Department from disclosing specific confidential medical information. Prior to his release, Inmate Adams was provided contact information for services in the community such as continuing care, housing, welfare as well as other community resources. He was not designated seriously mentally ill (SMI).

Upon release, he was provided transportation from ASPC-Yuma to Maricopa County, after which he was no longer under the Department’s legal jurisdiction and the Department had no further legal authority over him.

The tragic death is terrible, and Mr. Adams will have to answer for his alleged actions.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



Recommended for you

(54) comments


I myself can't stand rap music. However, no to the point of causing harm or damage. This criminal should be sentenced to listening to rap music 8 hrs a day for the rest of his life in prison.


The parents should hold the jail system responsabile also. They knew what type of person they were putting back on the street

Honk Honkler

This isn't really surprising. People are getting fed up with being terrorized by black rap thugs. He should go for a jury nullification


I totally 110% agree with you. This music if you want to call it that speaks of nothing but disrespect for law disrespect for other humans especially women are degraded to the uppermost extent and kill kill and kill. The mentality behind this garbage is disgusting I don't even know why these younger people like it? It is beyond distasteful beyond disrespectful,anyone who finds interest in this crop obviously does not have much of an IQ nor do they have any future and are going to be nothing but a drain on our society and their own loved ones. Honestly I would have some type of sympathy for the mother however she allowed this behavior and as far as sympathy for the young man I have none because there is none deserved!!


walk around flashing gang symbols, you deserve what you get.


That's f*cked up. The kid had zero interaction with the mental ex-con of two days prior to getting shanked in the neck from behind. People with your mentality abuse our 1st amendment, maybe that's grounds to stab you in the neck, huh?


For Whom the Bell Tolls

by John Donne

No man is an island,

Entire of itself.

Each is a piece of the continent,

A part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,

Europe is the less.

As well as if a promontory were.

As well as if a manor of thine own

Or of thine friend's were.

Each man's death diminishes me,

For I am involved in mankind.

Therefore, send not to know

For whom the bell tolls,

It tolls for thee.


you're about as worthless as a slug. shut up and go away.


Why so angry?


Feel like stabbing someone? You need anger management, asap!


Say HI to Tupac for us.


It's a 17 year old kid man, don't be an idiot. Just because you can say some dumb stuff on the internet to sound cool, doesn't mean you should.


Seriously, why don't you off yourself and say HI to Jeffrey Dahmer for us?


And of course had the state forced him into treatment Cotterell would be screaming human rights abuse. Lawyers, sigh.

Mr. Mason

I don't have any words I want to use.


mental health issue or not, take him out and kill him... ok, ok, trial first, then QUICK Appeal, then let's do this.


💔As a SMI myself...I am so sorry and sad for this family..I "hate" the media,lawyers and IGNORANCE(It is a cover-up so "The WHOLE TRUTH NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH" can cost Law-abiding Tax payers will waste more time and money on satan's spawn...I bet he was "under the influence" of some sort of "Medication" and/or coming down and his "Fein-Fix!"...The difference between a Jail And Treatment is NOT a Bed or Cell?...1 is LEGAL the other is VOLUNTARY!!...back in my day I worked a psychiatric ward for years and our patients LIVED there till the day they died until about 1991 they started releasing Psych patients into society..because they could distinguish from "Right and Wrong"..the older ones(60+ were released to group homes and nursing homes)..I sure wish when the media covers SMI they would "tell the truth or at least the rest of the story!"..The FAMILY Is OWED And DESERVES This💔💔💔💔💔


grammajo - Well said and accurate. The change in mental health procedures is a complete disaster and failure. Putting mental health patients in prison has created many more problems and victims in the prison system. It's pretty horrific. Look up the Shannon Palmer murder, a mental health patient who instead of being in a behavioral health institution for trespassing, (he climbed an electrical tower which is a felony in Arizona), was in prison and celled with a murderer doing a life sentence.


yes it's a conspiracy isn't it! You feel those eyes looking at you?


When the prison system is proven to be a joke. Either lock people up for life or dont lock them up at all. There's no such thing as rehabilitation

JR in glendale

Is there some reason why the location of the crime is not being disclosed? Or is there only the one Circle K in all of Peoria and its just assumed we all know where it is...? "Who What WHERE When Why and How" one of Jounalism school...

Comment deleted.
JR in glendale

What a disturbing comment you sick freak. Get some therapy before YOU stab a kid in the neck at an unspecified Circle K... Seems curious to me that the location wasn't specified; and I was just pointing out the lack of journalistic skill of whomever wrote this story. It was the 67th Ave & Peoria Ave store, if anyone else was wondering. (Which I found out from


75 the Ave, all you have to do is read the original story


A typical cowardly prison type murder. It's almost always a sneak up from behind stabbing, bashing, or strangling type killing with these cowards on prison yards. A clearly horrific murder of a kid because of a difference in music preference. Also, here we are again with the press showing the picture of a White murder suspect (especially when the victim is not White) which they never do when the suspect is Black and the victim is not Black, especially when the victim is White. This young kid could have had a great future ahead of him. Hopefully this filthy dirt bag pays a brutal and miserable price for cutting this kid's life short.


Big Daddy you must have a very high opinion of yourself!!!


Wow, just walks and stabs a guy for no apparent reason. What a pos. Hope he gets a good long sentence, if not death, for killing this kid.


*walks up...


Murderer lied, he asked teen boy for sex and got refused[love]

William Robbins

This killer should be executed


Random stabbing at a convenience store. Idiotic comments from the usual AZ trumphumpers. So happy to have left Hellizona.


How many times did the judge say the word, "um"? A lot. And, why is it we can't see the state's attorney and the judge in this video?


Now that full details are reported, lock up the murderer and throw away the key!


current or former meth addict. obviously schizophrenic. homeless. these people are ticking time bombs living on our streets. i don't even know if there is a solution. just never make any kind of eye contact with these people.


Why so many see everything as a race thing? It doesn't matter, it's criminal, and I have to admit, if this scum of the earth had a name that ended with a z or his first name was Willie or Jamal many would assumed it was a so called minority. There's really no such thing as a minority or majority when it's about race, it's about committing crimes. My Prayer daily is for me and many in this country to stop seeing the color of ones skin as a factor, even if in many cases it is, and that goes for all races. THANK GOD FOR AMERICA on his 243rd BD,

Phillup Witgas

That is why I always carry. I am at the circle k at 43rd and bell around 4 am every morning for smokes. Wanna see a freak show ?? Scumbags aplenty. Tweekers just hangin out and looking for trouble. That circle k gets robbed at least once a month. I've had employees beg me to stay until the creeps leave the store. Cops won't even show up.


Yep, its time to hire a gun just like in the good old days.

Wayne kenoff

Aint nothin compared to the circle k on 35th and osborn. That should be closed


Not sure a gun would've helped in this case. Stabbed in the neck from behind with no hint of provocation. Tragic.


Withgas - Just curious how carrying a firearm would protect you if someone walks up BEHIND you and stabs you in the neck?? Once you go down you've now provided your assailant with a firearm to harm even more people. Typical low IQ gun owner response by not thinking things through beyond an initial reaction. Carry all the guns you want, but try to be smarter about how/when you might use them.

Wayne kenoff

Obeylaws- you’re wrong. You always have to be weary of people nowadays. Firearm carriers know this and are aware of their surroundings. It’s called “situational awareness”.


Just curious why you think he wouldn't be wary in a location of that nature?


What was a 17 year old doing out at 1:45 in the morning? Either a drug dealer or hard user.

Wayne kenoff

Dean- I was out with thots at 17. Are you really that naive to believe the only reason a kid would be out is to deal or use drugs? Re-evaluate your life and cancel your internet subscription


Haven't you heard? 17 is the new 40.


Thus it was ok for the white boy to stab and kill him.


Don't know yet since nothing reported as of now. May or may not of been provoked.


bruce - White man or White guy. "White boy" and "White girl" are racially derogatory term used against White people.




Daddy, you silly wabbit, only white people can be racists. Racist must be code for "Sh*t, man, we're busted! How do we make it look like they did it?"


While I agree there is nothing wrong with being ANY race, there should never be any pride involved whatsoever. Pride is reserved for accomplishments/achievements that one has worked for. One's race/ethnicity/gender is determined at birth and therefore not 'earned'.


Im a white guy and I find nothing wrong with someone saying "white boy". You need to calm down "Daddy".


Sun City is affecting your brain. Scoot closer so it can finish you off.


Or just a kid out hanging out. When I was 17 I hung out with my friend late at night all the time when school was out. Or I was at work until 2am.


Circle No Way ( New street earned name)

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.