Brutal attack: Corey Johnson, a self-described Muslim convert from Florida, is accused of killing 13-year-old Jovanni Brand and injuring a mother and her 13-year-old son during a sleepover
Police in Florida say a 17-year-old suspect accused of stabbing to death a 13-year-old boy and injuring a woman and her teenage son during a sleepover had converted to Islam and said the deadly attack was inspired by his Muslim faith.
Investigators say Corey Johnson, a high school drop-out from Jupiter, Florida, had previously been the focus of an FBI bulletin triggered by reports of his violent tendencies.
The 17-year-old was arrested on Monday morning on one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder stemming from the violent triple stabbing during a slumber party at the BallenIsles Country club in Palm Beach Gardens.
The grisly incident began unfolding at around 6am when police got a 911 call from the residence at 334 Sunset Bay Lane, reported CBS12.
Responding officers found Eileen Simon, her 13-year-old son Dane Bancroft and another boy, identified as Jovanni Brand, suffering from stab wounds.
Simon and Bancroft were rushed to a hospital to be treated for multiple knife wounds. Brand, who turned 13 on Monday, was pronounced dead at the scene after having his throat slashed.
Johnson was arrested after a standoff at the BallenIsles Country club in Palm Beach Gardens
Simon’s other son, 15-year-old Kyle Bancroft, was also present at the scene but escaped unharmed.
Johnson barricaded himself inside the home but turned himself into to police after a two-hour standoff with a SWAT team.
Police said Simon was awakened at around 5.45am by the sound of moaning coming from an upstairs loft where Jovanni Brand was staying. She went to check up on the boy but was confronted by Johnson, who allegedly proceeded to stab her 12 times.
Her 13-year-old Dane rushed to his mother’s defense and was stabbed more than 30 times by the suspect, according to police.
Despite their injuries, the mother and son were able to run for help to a neighbor’s house and summon the police.
Paramedics who arrived on the scene found Brand suffering from multiple stab wounds and a laceration to his neck.
According to a police report, Johnson told investigators during questioning that he decided to kill Dane and Jovanni because he felt the former made fun of his Muslim faith and the latter was idolizing celebrities and referring to them as ‘gods,’ which went against Johnson’s beliefs.
He allegedly stabbed Eileen Simon 12 times and her son Dane more than 30 times after reading from the Quran on his phone to give him courage
Kyle Simon told police he and Johnson would often watch violent online videos about Jihadists, most recently on Sunday.
That same day, Johnson said he went out to buy a knife and brought it along when he was invited by Eileen Simon to the sleepover the following day.
The 17-year-old convert also told police that he read the Quran on his phone to draw courage from the holy text before launching the deadly attack.
Johnson is being held at a juvenile detention facility. A grand jury will decide whether or not to charge him as an adult.