A Florida man who shared neo-Nazi sympathies with his roommates says he killed them shortly after converting to Islam because they made made disparaging remarks about his newfound faith.
Devon Arthurs told detectives he shot Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, on Friday afternoon because he was angry about supposed worldwide anti-Muslim sentiment and “wanted to bring attention to his cause,” according to a Tampa Police Department report obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.
Police say that 18-year-old Arthurs shot his roommates in their apartment at the Hamptons at Tampa Palms complex and then fled to Green Planet, a nearby smoke shop. There, he held a store employee and two customers hostage for a brief period.
“Do me a favor and get the f— on the ground!” he yelled to a female employee and male customer, the police report says. Arthurs then asked the customers, “Why shouldn’t I kill you?”
Police negotiators convinced Arthurs to let the hostages leave, and after several more minutes of discussion, he surrendered and allowed the officers to place him in handcuffs. That’s when he revealed to officers the full extent of his crimes, according to police report.
Asked if anyone else was hurt, Arthurs replied, “The people in the apartment, but they aren’t hurt, they’re dead.”
During a subsequent interview with detectives, Arthurs provided specific details about how he killed Himmelman and Oneschuck, including the type of rifle he used and which part of their bodies he targeted. Police say Arthurs bragged to his hostages that he had “blasted their head.”
Arthurs stated that, before he shot his roommates, “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,” according to the police report.
He also told the smoke shop hostages that he was upset due to the U.S. bombing “his Muslim countries,” wrote Tampa Police Detective Kenneth Nightlinger in his report.
“This wouldn’t have had to happen if your country didn’t bomb my country,” Athurs said, not specifying which country he now claims as his own.
Arthurs faces two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault and three counts of armed kidnapping, reports the Tampa Bay Times. He is currently incarcerated in the Hillsborough County jail without bail.
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