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Teen stabs 3 ‘because of his Muslim faith’


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 in the case.

The details come from 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.

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 visiting there, too, 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.

Police reports 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 jihad videos, and police described the videos as “extreme” and said they “encourage death to non-believers.”

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