Neo-Nazi who survived Muslim roommate’s shooting attack had a garage full of explosives

The roommate of a neo-Nazi turned Muslim who shot his other two roommates for being neo-Nazis is also a neo-Nazi, the Tampa Bay Times reports, and was arrested after police found explosive materials in his garage while responding to the shooting call.

Brandon Russell was out serving with the Florida National Guard when Devon Arthurs shot and killed their roommates, Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, for “disrespecting his Muslim faith.” All four were neo-Nazis before Arthurs claims he converted to Islam, and he was reportedly upset by their continued allegiance to white supremacy as well as what he said was a global campaign of hatred against Muslims. When Arthurs was arrested after taking hostages at a local smoke shop following the shooting, he directed police back to the scene of the crime, where Russell was found crying, having just found the bodies of his roommates.

But when police searched Russell’s garage, they found a cooler full of hexamethylene tiperoxide diamine (HMTD), a white cake-like material used to make explosives. They also found potassium chlorate, potassium nitrate, nitro methane and more than a pound of ammonium nitrate in a package addressed to Russell, all elements that can be mixed to make explosives, as well as electric matches and empty 5.56-caliber ammunition casings with fuses. In his bedroom, investigators found Nazi and white supremacist propaganda, as well as a framed photo of Timothy McVeigh.

Arthurs told investigators that Russell had been “participating in online neo-Nazi internet chat rooms where he threatened to kill people and bomb infrastructure,” according to the police report. Russell admitted to police that he was a national socialist, a member of a white supremacy group called the Atomwaffen (German for “atomic weapons”), and had manufactured the HMTD, but he said it was used to boost homemade rockets for a University of South Florida engineering club.

Russell was arrested Sunday on an FBI warrant and has been charged with possessing an unregistered destructive device and unlawful storage of explosive material.

[photo: Tampa Bay Police]