The only shot fired at Richard Spencer’s University of Florida appearance missed its mark, and police said two of the three men arrested in connection with the shooting were members of extremist groups.
Authorities arrested Tyler Tenbrink, of Richmond, Texas, and William and Colton Fears, of Passadena, Texas, just outside of the city late Thursday night. All three were charged with attempted murder.
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Just before 5:30 p.m., just as protesters outside Spencer’s speech at UF’s Phillips Center were wrapping up, Gainesville police said the trio started heckling some anti-Spencer protesters with Hitler chants, Nazi salutes and threats. At one point, cops said, convicted felon Tenbrink pulled out a gun and the brothers encouraged him to use it.
He fired a single shot that missed the group, police said, then sped off in a silver Jeep. An off-duty Alachua County Sheriff’s Office deputy spotted the car 20 miles out of town around 9 p.m. and arrested the group. The Fears brothers are held on million dollar bonds in the Alachua County jail. Tenbrink’s is $3 million.
Tenbrink, 28, and William Fears, 30, were spotted at Charlottesville, the site of the largest white nationalist gathering in years that erupted in violence. Fears identifies himself on Twitter as “Charismatic leader of a White breeding cult” and tweeted “blood and soil,” the notorious Nazi slogan.
Tenbrink and Colton Fears, 28, were two of very few pro-Spencer activists who spoke to media Thursday. Tenbrink was captured on video jumping a police barricade to avoid angry protesters and was promptly detained by cops.