Boy Stabbed To Death At 13th Birthday Sleepover

Two others were wounded

A 17-year-old Florida boy is accused of stabbing a friend to death at a 13th birthday sleepover—and seriously injuring two others—in the gated community in Palm Beach Gardens.

Birthday boy Jovanni Sierra, 13, was sleeping at a friend’s house on March 12 when his throat was slashed, PEOPLE reports. According to officials, the attack also left a lawyer and her 13-year-old son with multiple stab wounds.  

Interim Palm Beach Garden Police Chief Clint Shannon told media the 17-year-old suspect had brought a knife to the sleepover and allegedly decided to kill everyone in the house after he was mocked for being a Muslim.

The accused 17-year-old was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder after officials say he confessed to the assaults. 

“This was not a random act of violence,” Shannon said Tuesday. “All persons involved in this incident knew each other.”

As FOX reports, the suspect was already on the radar of the FBI. The boy had been investigated for “alleged violent tendencies” and his social media activity allegedly including watching beheading videos. 

On Friday, hundreds of devastated friends and family paid tribute to 13-year-old Jovanni at a funeral service, The Palm Beach Post reports. 

“Jovanni is an angel now,” his mother, Karen Sierra said. “He’s in a better place where he doesn’t have to suffer.”

“He’s finished his mission here,” grandmother Martha Velez added in Spanish. “God has come to pick one of the best flowers in his garden.”

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