Early Monday morning in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Elaine Simon was struggling to breathe with blood dripping from her body as she stands at her neighbor's doorstep.
“She said somebody attacked her, but you have to get somebody here quick!” the neighbor told a 9-1-1 operator, according to a recording of the emergency call. “She’s delirious. [The attacker] had a knife. She’s dying over here. The kids are out here bleeding!”
The day before, four teenage boys, Simon's 13- and 15-year old sons, Dane and Kyle Bancroft; Dane’s friend, 13-year-old Jovanni Sierra; and Corey Johnson, a friend of Kyle, were settling in to spend the night at Simon's house.
At some point during the day, Kyle and Johnson were watching videos on a cellphone about Islamist militants, according to the affidavit.
Kyle told authorities that he did not believe in Islam, but Johnson did. Kyle disclosed that the two of them would "often" view videos that were "extreme and encouraged death to nonbelievers."
As the night went on, Johnson reported that one of the younger boys had offended him about his "religious beliefs."
“Jovanni was [idolizing] famous people and referencing them as gods (which went against the Muslim faith), and Johnson felt Dane ‘made fun of’ his Muslim faith and the fact that Johnson prayed and kissed the ground,” the affidavit stated. “Johnson advised he watched violent videos on his phone and computers and was reading [the Koran] from his phone just prior to the attack to give him courage to carry out his intentions.”
Authorities were told by Johnson that he had planned on killing Jovanni, Dane, and Dane's mother at 4 a.m. Monday. He wanted to kill them in their sleep.
Johnson said that he first went upstairs to the loft and killed Jovanni while he was sleeping. Simon was awakened by a loud commotion and the sounds of a boy moaning. She rushed upstairs to find her Jovanni bleeding profusely.
Out of nowhere, Johnson begins attacking Simon. He continues to stab her until her other son, Dane, pushed him off. Simon falls down the stairs. While her son and Johnson were fighting, she rushed to the neighbor's house to call 9-1-1.
After being stabbed 32 times, Dane was able to pull himself away from Johnson and jump out the second story window, which was about a 12-foot jump.
“Dane, and his brother Kyle, are tough-minded kids, the kind of kids you would want in a trench with you,” Lucas Bancroft, father of Dane and Kyle, said. “Without (Dane), this would be a whole lot different.”
Simon has sustained severe stab wounds to her face and has significant lacerations to her wrists and neck, according to Lucas.
Johnson is currently held in a juvenile detention. A grand jury will have to decide whether to charge him as an adult on one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
“He’s really brave. He’s always been tough. And he’s very protective of our mother," Kyle said.
At this time, Dane is in ICU at St. Mary's Children Hospital, according to the GoFundMe page.
Please pray for God's healing on Dane and Simon as they recover physically and mentally. Please pray for the family who lost their beloved son, and everyone else involved.
In other news, a 7-year-old Tennessee boy was dragged off a school bus in shocking video.