Tampa murder suspect said he killed neo-Nazi roommates to stop them from carrying out ‘domestic terrorism’
A Florida teen who converted to Islam and then killed his two neo-Nazi roommates told prosecutors that he did it to stop them from committing terrorist attacks, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
18-year-old Devon Arthurs was accused by police of gunning down two of his roommates — 22-year-old Jeremy Himmelman and 18-year-old Andrew Oneschuk — after initially telling police they attacked his newfound Muslim faith.
According to a court filing from the prosecutor, Arthurs now claims he committed the killings to prevent the pair from carrying out terrorist acts.
“He also stated that his two deceased roommates, along with a third roommate, Brandon Russell, were neo-Nazis and that he wanted to prevent them from committing planned acts of domestic terrorism,” Assistant State Attorney Ronald Gale wrote as part of a motion for pretrial detention filed Monday in Hillsborough Circuit Court.
Following the murders, Arthurs went into a nearby smoke shop in Tampa Palms, where he took three hostages and threatened to kill them. After police arrived on the scene, they convinced him to release the hostages and turn himself in.
“I had to do it,” he told police. “This wouldn’t have had to happen if your country didn’t bomb my country.”
Arthurs, who faces two murder charges, is being held without bail in the Hillsborough County Jail.