TAMPA (FOX 13) - Tampa police say the teen arrested for Fridays' double murder says he killed his roommates after being angered by the world's "anti-Muslim" sentiments. Devon Arthurs told them he used to be a neo-Nazi, but had recently converted to Islam.
Police arrested the 18-year-old last week for the shooting death of his two roommates at an apartment complex on Amberly Drive.
According to the arrest affidavit, Arthurs made reference to "Allah Mohammed!" while officers walked him to the patrol vehicle after he was taken into custody for holding three people hostage inside a smoke shop.
Arthurs allegedly told police, "I had to do it. This wouldn't have had to happen if your country didn't bomb my country."
In later interviews, detectives say Arthurs told them that he shot his roommates, 22-year-old Jeremy Himmelman and 18-year-old Andrew Oneschuk, because they "disrespected" his Muslim faith.
According to Arthurs, he and the two roommates had previously shared a neo-Nazi belief, until Arthurs converted to Islam. Since converting, he became angered by the world's anti-Muslim sentiment and "wanted to bring attention" to his cause.
It was around 5:30 Friday evening when Arthurs came into the Green Planet Smoke Shop. Employees there say he was wielding a gun and told them he had killed two people. He also told the employees they could not leave the store, but the shop’s manager was able to break away and call the police.
"He came in there with a gun, never faced it at [the employees]," smoke shop manager Fadi Soufan said. "[He was] telling them the world's corrupt, crazy stuff like that, and that he just shot someone."
Police came and took Arthurs into custody. That’s when he allegedly told them where to find the bodies. Both appeared to have died from gunshot wounds, according to police.
Meanwhile, Arthurs' third roommate has been arrested on federal charges after agents say the murders led them to neo-Nazi propaganda and explosives inside the apartment's first-floor garage.