TAMPA (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s office released more than 300 pages of documents in the murder case of Devon Arthurs.
Arthurs, 18, is accused of killing his roommates, Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, in their Tampa Palms apartment on May 19.
The documents were released by the State Attorney’s office after several media organizations requested their release by the court under Florida’s Public Records Law.
Many of the documents are heavily redacted, but they describe a brutal crime scene where Tampa police officers found the bodies of Himmelman and Oneschuk with gunshot wounds to their heads. One responding officer wrote that the victims had been shot multiple times with a high-powered assault rifle.
The bodies were discovered after Arthurs walked to a smoke shop across the street from his apartment complex and held several people at gunpoint.
The statements from the witnesses inside the smoke shop were also redacted by the State Attorney’s Office, but it’s apparent Arthurs told officers he had murdered Himmelman and Oneschuk. Based on the statements Arthurs made in the smoke shop, officers went to his apartment where they found the bodies of the victims.
At the apartment, officers first heard screams from a man later identified as Brandon Russell. He had just discovered the bodies of his friends and came out of the apartment wearing an Army uniform.
When officers entered the apartment, they found the bodies of the victims, but also found neo-Nazi books, a photo of Timothy McVeigh, who murdered people with a truck bomb in Oklahoma City in 1995 and they also found materials for making explosives.
Russell told officers that the explosives and radioactive materials found in the apartment were his and that he used them to make “model rockets.”
Later, detectives learned Russell is the leader of a group that calls itself, “Atomwaffen” and claims to have 60 to 70 members across the country.
Russell is facing federal charges for being in possession of the explosives and radioactive material found inside the apartment.
Arthurs told investigators he met Russell, Oneschuck and Himmelman online. The four men described themselves as, “national socialists.”
Arthurs claimed Russell had trained them in “paramilitary tactics” in the Ocala National Forest. Arthurs told investigators he joined the “Atomwaffen” at the age of 14, dropped out of school in the 10th grade and then converted to Islam at the age of 17.
When he converted to Islam, it created problems with the other three men.
Arthurs told detectives he did not wake up in the morning with the intent to harm anyone. He also told detectives, he doesn’t feel like a monster, but he doesn’t feel sane. Arthurs claimed he spent most of that day involved in “encrypted wire chat” with members of the “Atomwaffen.”
Later in the day, Arthurs got into an argument with the victims, which led to the shooting.
What is not shown in the heavily redacted statements that Arthurs made to detectives is his statements to detectives about why he killed the victims.
In Federal Court, a recording of his confession was played in a pre-trial hearing for Russell. In the statements, Arthurs claimed he killed them to prevent a mass-terror attack the victims were planning.
Arthurs claimed Oneschuck and Himmelman were plotting to attack the power grid and other key targets in the Tampa area and Arthurs claimed his actions had saved many lives.
An attorney for Russell called the claims made by Arthurs as nothing but pure fantasy.
“I don’t believe anything Devon Arthurs says. Devon Arthurs is a person who just murdered two individuals who is desperate to save himself,” said attorney Ian Goldstein.
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