Three Men Arrested After Shot Fired at Protesters Near Richard Spencer Speech

Posted October 21, 2017

Gainesville police have arrested three men they say are responsible for the shooting after Richard Spencer's speech at the University of Florida on Thursday. Colton and William Fears were identified as brothers by police, and police said at least two of the men are connected to extremist groups. The Gainesville Police Department reported that Tenbrink is a convicted felon, and therefore faces additional charges for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The men had driven up to the protesters in a silver Jeep and made threatening comments when Tenbrink pulled out a handgun and was encouraged by the Fears brother to shoot at the protesters.

The gunshot narrowly missed the group of six to eight protesters, striking a business behind them, police said.

An eagle-eyed witness remembered the Jeep's license plate number, which proved to be a big break for police.

The Fears brothers are being held with a $1 million bond.

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The other two suspects, who are siblings, purportedly urged Tenbrink to shoot and slaughter the general population in the gathering, the capture report said.

During an interview earlier Thursday, Tenbrink said he wasn't a neo-Nazi but added that if Adolf Hitler had "changed his narrative a little bit, he'd have taken over the whole freaking world".

"Despite our worst fears of violence, the University of Florida and the Gainesville community showed the world that love wins", said University of Florida President Kent Fuchs.

Both Tenbrink and William Fears appear to have been committed white nationalists.

Gainesville police spokesman Ben Tobias said Friday that he thought it was "reasonable to believe they came here to bring some hatred".

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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.

On Monday, Florida's governor declared a state of emergency to provide resources to law enforcement, and an extensive police presence was on campus for the event.

Tenbrink told the Sun that he traveled to Gainesville from Houston to see Spencer's speech.

Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in Charlotesville on 12 August 2017, when another white supremacist rammed a vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians protesting against the "Unite the Right" rally, yet another violent Spencer-backed event.

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