TAMPA, FL — Florida police have found explosive devices — and a framed photo of Timothy McVeigh — in the apartment where a man allegedly murdered two of his roommates because their neo-Nazi beliefs conflicted with his Islamic faith.
Brandon Russell, who leases the apartment, now faces federal charges of possession of a destructive device and unlawful storage of explosive material. Russell is a Florida National Guardsman and admitted neo-Nazi who kept a framed photo of the Oklahoma City bomber on his dresser.
On Friday, 18-year-old Devon Arthurs led Tampa police to the Hamptons Condominium apartment complex, where officers found a gruesome double murder. The victims were 22-year-old Jeremy Himmelman and 18-year-old Andrew Oneschuk. Both had been shot to death.
Arthurs told investigators that the four men shared neo-Nazi beliefs, but that after he converted to Islam, his roommates “disrespected” him and he had to kill them. Arthurs further shared that Russell had threatened to kill people and bomb infrastructure. When officers found Russell in the apartment he was reportedly crying.
After obtaining a search warrant, police found a cooler with HMTD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine) at the residence, documents say. They also found potassium chlorate, potassium nitrate, and ammonium nitrate — along with electric matches and empty 5.56-caliber casings with fuses. The materials could be used to make a bomb, according to the complaint.In Russell’s room, they also found Nazi and white-supremacist propaganda, firearms, and ammunition. Russell admitted to making the HMTD, but said the chemicals were related to his membership in an engineering club at the University of South Florida.
Arthurs has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder as well as armed kidnapping. The incident began at around 5:30 P.M. on May 19, when police were called to the Green Planet Smoke Shop.
Responding officers found that Arthurs had taken two customers and an employee hostage at gunpoint. They were able to convince him to let the hostages go, and he was taken into custody. It was during the police interview regarding this incident that Arthurs confessed to killing two people at the apartment, and offered to show investigators where the bodies were.
Main photo: Devon Arthurs [Fox 13 News – Tampa Bay /YouTube (screenshot)]