A man accused of shooting his two roommates Friday in a Tampa Palms apartment told police he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with the men until he converted to Islam then killed them because they showed disrespect for his faith.
The revelations weren't over.
Officers found a garage stocked with bomb materials as they arrived to investigate the double homicide, leading to federal explosive charges against Brandon Russell — a Florida National Guardsman and admitted neo-Nazi who kept a framed photo of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh on his dresser.
Russell, 21, was the man Tampa police officers found crying outside his door Friday evening when murder suspect Devon Arthurs led them back to the apartment that the four had shared in an affluent suburb north of the University of South Florida. Russell, wearing camouflage, had just returned from National Guard duties.
Police went to the apartment in the Hamptons at Tampa Palms after Arthurs, 18, told them he fatally shot his roommates Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, according to a Tampa police report.
While searching the garage, investigators found a cooler full of a white, cake-like explosive material known as HMTD, or hexamethylene tiperoxide diamine, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court. Nearby, they found explosive precursors — chemicals that can be mixed to create explosives — including potassium chlorate, potassium nitrate, nitro methane and more than a pound of ammonium nitrate in a package addressed to Russell.
Investigators also found electric matches and empty 5.56-caliber ammunition casings with fuses that could be used to detonate destructive devices once HMTD was added to the casings. The materials could be used to make a bomb, according to the complaint.
In addition, pagers carried by bomb technicians alerted them to the presence of two radiation sources. The complaint does not say whether they were connected to the explosive materials.
In Russell's bedroom, investigators discovered Nazi and white supremacist propaganda including the photo of McVeigh, who was convicted and executed for detonating an ammonium nitrate and nitromethane fertilizer truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. The death toll from the blast was 168.
According to the complaint, Russell admitted to being a national socialist, manufacturing the HTMD and owning the precursors. He also admitted he is a member of a white supremacy group called the Atomwaffen, German for "atomic weapons."
Questioned about why he had the explosives, Russell said he was in a USF engineering club in 2013 and used the HMTD, in part, to boost homemade rockets and to send balloons into the atmosphere.
"Based on my training and experience, HMTD is too energetic and volatile for these types of uses," FBI Special Agent Timothy A. Swanson wrote in the complaint.
A guy who literally had a framed photo of modern America's most notorious domestic terrorist in his bedroom, belonged to a neo-Nazi group, had all kinds of explosives and bomb-making materials, and white supremacist propaganda where he lived, And this guy was a zygote when Tim McVeigh attacked Oklahoma City. Hell, I was the age he is now when that happened.
How many more of these skinhead New Reich assholes like Russell are out there? Gosh who knows, Trump and Sessions are too busy harassing anyone darker than a paper bag. Why would Trump go after the people who elected him, after all?
The fetters are off these guys. Expect to see a lot more scenes like this where state and local law enforcement have to do the bulk of the work dealing with these guys, and remember Russell only got caught because he shot two of his roommates. The cops had no idea otherwise. The Feds under Trump and Sessions won't give a damn.
And that's going to be a disaster sooner rather than later.