A former neo-Nazi who converted to Islam has been charged with killing two roommates in his Florida apartment. Authorities said he killed them after they disrespected his new faith. Devon Arthurs, 18, was booked on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault and three counts of armed kidnapping according to NBC News.
Arthurs created a hostage situation at a smoke shop, according to a statement from a Tampa Bay police spokesperson. The teen barred an employee and two customers from leaving the shop. Citing police documents, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Arthurs ordered them onto the ground and "informed all three victims that he was upset due to America bombing his Muslim countries."
Responding officers convinced Arthurs to let the hostages go, and they took Arthurs into custody. That's when Arthurs told police that he killed two of his roommates according to NBC.
Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, were found shot to death at Arthurs’ apartment. A fourth roommate, Brandon Russell, was found unharmed and Russell was later charged with illegally storing bomb-making equipment in the garage. Russell told police he was not only a National Guard soldier, but also a national socialist and a member of a group called the "Atom Waffen," or Atomic Weapon. On Russell's dresser, court records say, he kept a framed photo of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Arthurs alleged that he and his roommates "shared a common neo-Nazi belief." That is, until Arthurs converted to Islam.
"He [Arthurs] said his roommates disrespected his Muslim faith," the court statement said. "He also said he had become angered by what he described as the world's anti-Muslim sentiment and wanted to bring attention to his cause."
[Tampa Police Department]