Muslim convert killed roommates over disrespect to his faith, police say

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Mag 23, 2017

Prior to converting to Islam, Arthurs was a committed white supremacist, as were his two slain roommates.

Officers talked Arthurs into letting the hostages go and dropping his weapon, and took him into custody.

Himmelman and Oneschuk had recently moved to Florida from MA for a change of pace before being invited to live with Arthurs, Himmelman's sister said via the Tampabay. "This wouldn't have had to happen if your country didn't bomb my country", the news station reported, adding that he claimed he and his roommates shared neo-Nazi beliefs before he converted. "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".

Arthurs, who remains jailed without bail, is facing two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault and three counts of armed kidnapping.

Brad Reed is a writer living in Boston.

The report provides chilling new details about the shooting in the Hamptons at Tampa Palms complex and the hostage situation that unfolded afterward at the nearby Green Planet Smoke Shop.

Russell had just returned from Army National Guard training on Friday to find the two dead men, according to the complaint, and was arrested a day later while driving in the Florida Keys.

"Do me a favor and get the f-- on the ground!" he yelled to a female employee and male customer, the report states. He told police he wanted to bring attention to his cause.

Retired Tampa Police Bomb Squad leader, Jim Diamond, said the discovery of bomb making material in the apartment of neo-Nazis, is no surprise.

Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, were found there shot to death.

When asked by officers if anyone was hurt, Arthurs replied: "The people in the apartment, but they're aren't hurt, they're dead". Officers say they also found explosive precursors, electric matches, and empty bullet casings with fuses that could be used as detonators.

Swanson was notified by the U.S Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on May 20 that the materials found in Russell's garage are considered explosives under federal law, and were illegally stored and not registered. According to the complaint against Russell, he told investigators that the materials were for homemade rockets and weather balloons which were leftover from his time in an engineering club at the University of South Florida.

An FBI agent rejected that assertion, though, explaining in the arrest report that HMTD is "too energetic" to be used that way.

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