TAMPA, Fla. (CBS/AP) — A Florida man told police he fatally shot his neo-Nazi roommates, who were Massachusetts natives, inside a Tampa apartment because he wanted to prevent a planned act of domestic terrorism.
Court documents filed Tuesday show that 18-year-old Devon Arthurs made the comment to police on Friday after leading officers to the bodies.
Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, were both found dead inside the apartment. They are Walpole natives who had recently moved to Florida.
Arthurs, who told police he was a recent convert to Islam, said his roommates had disparaged his new religion and that their behavior also spurred his actions.
Investigators found bomb-making materials, Nazi propaganda and a framed photograph of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in the apartment with the bodies.
Also arrested was a fourth roommate, Brandon Russell, an active member of the Florida National Guard who police say admitted to being a neo-Nazi and who gathered the explosives.
Court documents showed that a box of explosive materials found in the garage was addressed to Russell.
“Arthurs stated that all four men, the two deceased individuals as well as he and Russell, had been friends who shared a common neo-Nazi belief until Arthurs recently converted to Islam,” the prosecution said in a Saturday court filing. “Arthurs stated that for some time before the murders, he had been privy to Russell participating in online neo-Nazi internet chat rooms where he threatened to kill people and bomb infrastructure.”
Himmelman’s sister told the Tampa Bay Times that she knew Arthurs and Russell were part of a white supremacist group. But she told the newspaper her brother and Oneschuk did not agree with Arthurs’ views.
In a follow-up interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Lyssa Himmelsman said Arthurs’ claim about his roommates all being neo-Nazis were “lies.”
A court hearing for Arthurs was postponed Wednesday.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)