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Former LI woman, son stabbed by teen guest in Florida, police say

Corey Johnson ,17, of Jupiter, Florida, attacked a

Corey Johnson ,17, of Jupiter, Florida, attacked a former Long Islander, Elaine Simon, and her son Dane Bancroft, 13, during a sleepover in their Florida home and also killed Jovanni Sierra Brand, 13, on March 12, 2018, police said. Credit: Palm Beach Gardens Police Department

A former Long Islander and her son were hospitalized after a teenage guest inspired by “Muslim jihadists” stabbed the two repeatedly and killed a boy during a sleepover at the woman’s Florida home, police said.

Elaine Simon was stabbed about 12 times and her son Dane Bancroft, 13, about 32 times after he went to protect his mother and fought with Corey Johnson, 17, inside their Palm Beach Gardens home early Monday, police said.

“The two were able to escape the home and ran to a neighbor, who called 911,” Clint Shannon, interim chief of Palm Beach Gardens police, told reporters this week.

When officers arrived, they found Dane’s friend, Jovanni Sierra Brand, 13, dead of stab wounds and Johnson barricaded in a room, police said. Jovanni was killed on his birthday.

Simon, an attorney and former Mount Sinai resident, told police that she had known Johnson more than 10 years. He was the friend of her older son, Kyle Bancroft, who was at home but not hurt in the attack.

She said she woke up at hearing what she thought was Jovanni moaning about 5:45 a.m. Monday, and at the top of the steps, Johnson sprang on her with a knife he bought the day before, according to the affidavit filed against him.

Johnson, of Jupiter, was charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

FBI investigators have been working with local authorities in the case because Johnson has been known to them for a year or so, Shannon said.

According to the affidavit filed against Johnson, he told police he believes in the Muslim faith and has been watching “violent videos” of extremists.

He felt Dane “made fun of” Johnson for praying and kissing the ground as he practiced his religion, according to the complaint against him, and he decided about 4 a.m. to kill Simon and the two younger boys as they slept.

Simon could not be reached Thursday night.

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