Florida Man Planned to Set Apartment Building on Fire to ‘Kill All Jews,’ Police Say

July 15, 2018 Updated: July 15, 2018

A Florida man who was facing eviction from his apartment was planning to set fire to the building because he wanted to kill Jewish people who were living there, according to police.

Miami Beach police announced Friday that Walter Edward Stolper, 72, was charged with first-degree attempted arson and attempted murder after “dumping several gasoline filled containers down a trash chute,” police said on Twitter.

“His motivation appears to be triggered by an upcoming eviction and anger towards Jewish neighbors,” police in Miami Beach said.

When he was apprehended by police, Stolper was found with two additional gasoline containers in his possession, police said.

Detectives last week also located a storage room linked to the defendant with gasoline, sulfur powder, and potassium nitrate.

“We are confident the work of our detectives prevented an imminent crisis” at 5601 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, police said on Twitter.

Luis Diaz, who said he’s been a friend of the suspect for 10 years, told WSVN that he turned him into police after he made disturbing comments.

“I actually do security cameras, and I did the security cameras at a business that he has in Doral,” he said. “He said he didn’t like Jews. He’s a Nazi.”

He called the police on Thursday after “a comment that he made to me, it actually bothered me,” he said. “[Stopler said] that he was gonna burn the building down with a bunch of Jews in it,” he added.

When officers searched his home, they found items with swastikas on them and books about the Nazi ideology, the station reported.

According to an affidavit, Diaz said Stolper told him he was going to fill plastic containers with gasoline and pour fuel down the building’s main line before igniting the gas, the Miami Herald reported. Diaz alleged that Stopler bought two electrical fans “to fan the flames and cause maximum amount of damage,” according to the paper.

Diaz said Stolper bought padlocks and painted them red, intending to place them on the fire hoses to prevent firefighters from accessing the hoses to put out the fire, the Herald reported.

Resident Viannette Justino told police that residents “could smell a strong odor of gasoline in the hallways and elevators,” the paper reported.

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