A white supremacist who converted to Islam killed his two Neo-Nazi roommates because they had offended his new faith, local media reported, citing police, who also found bomb-making materials, radioactive substances, and Nazi-propaganda at the crime scene.
The incident came to light on Friday when a man identified as Devon Arthurs, 18, led police to two deceased men in Tampa, Florida that he said he had murdered, police reported.
However, on Monday, police disclosed new details about what had initially been thought to be a common homicide. It appears that Arthurs is a former white supremacist who converted to Islam, police Detective Kenneth Nightlinger said in his report, as cited by Tampa Bay newspaper.
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The suspect was arrested after holding people at gunpoint at the local Green Planet Smoke Shop, the AP and local media said, citing police. During the arrest, Arthurs made references to “Allah Mohammed,” adding that there were “people in the apartment, but they aren’t hurt, they’re dead.”
The teen told police that he had shot his two roommates, Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, because they had displayed disrespect for his new faith.
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“I had to do it,” he said, according to the police report, adding “this wouldn’t have had to happen if your country didn’t bomb my country.”
The suspect said that, before committing the murder, “he had been privy to neo-Nazi internet sites threatening to kill people, and he had developed a thinking that he should take some of the neo-Nazis with him.”
When officers arrived at the crime scene on Friday, they found a fourth roommate, identified as Brandon Russell, who happened on his murdered roommates when he return home from his job at the Florida National Guard.
During a search of the apartment, police found radioactive substances, bomb-making materials, and Nazi propaganda literature, the police and FBI said in their report, adding that they arrested Russell on charges of unlawful storage of explosive materials.
The material, known as HMTD, is a high explosive organic compound, reported Tampa Bay newspaper, which saw a criminal complaint filed in US District Court.
Russell later “admitted to his neo-Nazi beliefs,” saying he was a member of the Atomwaffen group, which is German for ‘atomic weapon’.
The fourth roommate said the explosives came from an engineering club he had been part at the University of South Florida in 2013, explaining that he used the materials to make homemade rockets.
“Based on my training and experience, HMTD is too energetic and volatile for these types of uses,” FBI Special Agent Timothy A. Swanson wrote in the complaint, seen by Tampa Bay.
In his bedroom, Russell kept a framed photo of Timothy McVeigh, the domestic terrorist behind the deadly Oklahoma City bombing that killed over 160 people back in 1995.
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