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

Oct 21, 2017, 00:39
Men Arrested After Shooting at Richard Spencer's University of Florida Speech

Soon after Richard Spencer's speech at the University of Florida ended Thursday, three Texas men chanted Nazi slogans before one pulled out a gun and shot at a group near the campus, the Gainesville Police Department reported.

Gainesville Police charged 28-year-old Tyler Tenbrink and brothers Colton and William Fears with attempted homicide. Colton Fears is the "least active of the three" in white extremist groups, the ADL said, but recently participated in the Charlottesville, Virginia, torch march and Unite the Right rally that sparked protests leaving one dead and 19 others injured. One of the protesters also hit the Jeep with a baton before Tenbrink opened fire, according to Slate.

The shooting took place near a bus stop in Gainesville where police say a silver Jeep stopped and the three men inside started taunting a group of protesters. Tenbrink fired a single shot at an unidentified victim, which missed, according to authorities.

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One victim called police and "amazingly" recited to them the license plate number, police said.

Before 9 p.m. Thursday, an off-duty Alachua County deputy located the Jeep. Police executed a traffic stop and arrested the three men.

Tenbrink is being held on $3 million bond. The other two suspects, who are brothers, allegedly encouraged Tenbrink to shoot and kill the people in the group, the arrest report said.

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William Fears was charged in Harris County last week with felony assault of a family member, after police said he choked his girlfriend. "Us coming in and saying we're taking over your town, we're starting to push back, we're starting to want to intimidate back". They were "threatening, offering Nazi salutes and shouting chants about Hitler", the Gainesville Police Department said in a statement. "But if he argues he got out of his vehicle to check on the damage, was confronted by the guy with the baton, and said he felt threatened, then that's Stand Your Ground".

Spencer berated the audience for believing in free speech but not letting him speak.

Spencer is the president of a group called the National Policy Institute, which asked to organize an event at the university, a public school.

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Despite the shooting, there was much less violence in Gainesville Thursday than Charlottesville in August, the last time Spencer brought his traveling road show of polo-clad half-wits to a college campus.

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