Mar 13, 2018, 6:41 PM ET

Florida teen stabs 3 people, killing 1, 'because of his religious beliefs': Police


A Florida teen is accused of stabbing three people, one fatally, "because of his religious beliefs," police said.

Corey Johnson, 17, was attending a sleepover at his friend Kyle Bancroft's home in Palm Beach Gardens when the attack occurred, according to Clint Shannon, Palm Beach Gardens' interim police chief.

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Shannon said mother Elaine Simon awoke to a “commotion” and encountered the teen with a knife.

"Upon going to check the boys, [Simon] was met at the stairs by Johnson, who stabbed her multiple times. At that time [Simon's 13-year-old son] Dane [Bancroft] ran toward Johnson to protect his mother, and Johnson began to stab Dane. The two were able to escape the home and ran to a neighbor who called 911," Shannon said.

Responding officers arrested the teen at the scene, Shannon said.

Jovanni Brand, 13, was found dead in the home, having suffered multiple stab wounds and a throat laceration, according to Shannon. Simon and her son Dane Bancroft are currently at St. Mary’s Medical Center and are listed in stable condition, Shannon said. Simon was stabbed 12 times, while Dane was stabbed 32 times, Shannon said.

Kyle Bancroft was at the home at the time of the incident and was unharmed, according to Shannon.

"Johnson has confessed his actions to investigations, stating he stabbed the victims because of his religious beliefs," Shannon said, adding Johnson had converted to Islam.

According to the incident report, Johnson “felt Dane ‘made fun of his Muslim faith and the fact that [he] prayed and kissed the ground.’”

Shannon also said that his department had received information regarding the teen from a previous FBI investigation. The information “urged officers to use caution if contact was made” and "concerned [the teen's] violent tendencies," Shannon said.

When asked if the incident was linked to ISIS, Shannon replied, “Not from what we’ve uncovered, but we understand he has been watching violent videos, which may have some link to ISIS.”

Johnson has been charged with one count of first-degree murder, and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He is being held at the Palm Beach County Juvenile Detention Center and awaiting arraignment, according to Shannon.

News - Florida teen stabs 3 people, killing 1, 'because of his religious beliefs': Police

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  • strommy8

    have a good time in hell kid

  • Farhan Nazir

    Very sad events which occurred in Florida. I highly condemn such attacks.

  • soap box

    Made fun of him because of his religion, so we have to wonder ( even though this kid may have been mentally what ever ) if he was not made fun of would be have snapped????????

  • Jonas Blane ll

    Once again we see how white killers can be on law enforcement radar(Matthew Riehl,Devin Kelley,Nikolas Cruz Cory Johnson ) and nothing is done until the slaughter starts. Meanwhile cops are tell us the biggest problem are non existing Black Identity Extremists.

  • ANK

    "If your religion requires you to hate someone, you need a new religion" . Better yet, the UN needs to close down all religion since it has been behind most wars & all the bad things hatred & war brings.

  • Fatesrider

    Religion makes people irrational. They tout "faith" as a strength, when it's really only a logical fallacy. If someone is making incredible claims, they need to provide much more credible proof. And the circular logic of having "faith" to believe in that kind of nonsense actually changes the physiology of the brain to begin to believe in other fallacies, fantasies and fictions. Many literally become delusional in their beliefs.

    While it's a constitutionally protected right to be delusional, we really do need to push back against religions that try to force themselves on others. Just from a rational sense, what a person does to him/her self or personally believes is their business, and, according to all their myths, is between them and their deity of the day. After that, things get ugly.

    People are entitled to believe their own Kool-Aid, but they aren't entitled to inflict it on others. That's where the line should be drawn. People who want to gather together and rub blue mud into their belly buttons in the name of whatever invisible sky friend they think is out there can do so. But they shouldn't be allowed to try to convince anyone else of the validity of their myths unless first asked, and should be required to shut up and go away if told to.

    This religious exceptionalism nonsense in the U.S. is getting WAY out of hand. If you can't live in this world without trying to force your views on everyone else, then I invite you to immediately go to your deity and complain and demand a miracle.

    See how well that works out for you.

    If you're the kind who isn't intrusive, isn't trying to force your belief system on others (even if it's that door-to-door thing which IMHO, should be outlawed), and KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, good on you. Otherwise, you should learn that your belief system works for YOU, and assume that if someone else wants to know about it, they'll ask.

    Until then, keep it to yourself.

    If every religion touted THOSE values, I'd have no problem with whatever nonsense people wanted to believe in.

  • Thomas

    Must be something in the water in Florida....

  • ToothyGrinn

    Soooo, Kyle was doing what exactly whilst this shindig was going down ?

  • Chupacabra

    He was watching videos before he did it. Outlaw videos.

  • Prophet With Honor

    What a defense :

    "Your Honor, my client merely exercised his Constitutional right under the 1st Amendment to practice his religion"

  • USA Dad Overseas

    I wonder how long the sentence will be for the murderer? Do we really want our tax dollars spent giving a murderer food and shelter (in prison)? I don't.
    That crazy obviously doesn't respect human life. So to sound paradoxical: end his.

  • j tennum

    Fortunate he didn't have access to a gun or possible all 3 could be dead and maybe more.

  • barefootwt .

    Isn't Mar a Lego in Palm Beach county?

  • Tim

    This clown should be executed along with Nicholas Cruz. Maybe they could share the event. NOBODY should be killing people in the name of their religion. That is, indeed, the ultimate contradiction of terms.

  • xThatxSamexDudex

    What is wrong with Florida...?