Men Arrested After Shooting at Richard Spencer's University of Florida Speech

Monday, 23 Oct, 2017

They allegedly threw off Hitler salutes and yelled Nazi chants before shooting at a group of protesters after white supremacist Richard Spencer gave a speech at the University of Florida Thursday evening.

Spencer began by thanking the some 500 police officers who secured the event, as well as the University of Florida's president for allowing the event to proceed.

William Henry Fears, 30, Colton Gene Fears, 28, and Tyler Tenbrink, 29, each face charges of attempted homicide, the Gainesville Sun reports.

The Gainesville Police Department said Tyler Tenbrink, 28, William Fears, 30, and Colton Fears, 28, taunted a group of people standing near a bus stop immediately following Spencer's controversial event on Thursday. The men in the vehicle displayed Nazi salutes and shouted chants about Hitler, and one of them, identified as Tyler Tenbrink, 28, pulled out a gun. Tenbrink then fled the scene in a silver Jeep after jumping a police barricade to avoid protesters. Tenbrink fired a single shot at an unidentified victim, which missed, according to authorities.

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The three suspects were later caught after the victim had memorized their Jeep's license plate and alerted authorities.

An off-duty deputy from the Alachua County Sheriff's Office was on his way home when he spotted the Jeep about 20 miles north of Gainesville.

According to an arrest report, the three men were in a auto when they stopped by a bus stop and began arguing with a man, who was in a group of six to eight people.

At least two of the suspects have "shown connections to extremist groups", according to the Gainesville Police Department, although it's unclear which two. They had just come from the speech and were recorded on video giving interviews to media outlets, defending Spencer's appearance. Mr. Tenbrink was arrested along with brothers William and Colton Fears. Tenbrink, who detectives said "willfully and willingly fired a deadly weapon" with the "intent to kill", also faces charges of possession of a firearm by convicted felon. The investigation remains ongoing, Tobias said. "He's trying to make it, normalize the idea for white people to have an identity, to advocate for their own interests and to advocate for our own existence", Fears said.