Police on Friday arrested three Texas men who were allegedly involved in a shooting that broke out right after white nationalist Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida.
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.
Authorities say the three suspects pulled up to the bus stop about 5:30 p.m. and started shouting “Hail Hitler” at the group while throwing Nazi salutes.
When one of the people in the group used a baton to strike the rear window of the suspects’ Jeep, the three suspects got out and began yelling death threats. Tenbrink fired a single shot at an unidentified victim, which missed, according to authorities. The three then allegedly got back into their Jeep and fled.
All three face felony charges of attempted homicide, police said.
Detectives said Tenbrink “willfully and willingly fired a deadly weapon” with the “intent to kill,” according to his arrest report. Police said he is a convicted felon and faces other charges of possession of a firearm by convicted felon. The other two suspects, who are brothers, allegedly encouraged Tenbrink to shoot and kill the people in the group, the arrest report said.
The three suspects were later caught after the victim had memorized their Jeep’s license plate and alerted authorities. Detectives said Tenbrink admitted to the shooting, according to his arrest report.
At least two of the suspects have “shown connections to extremist groups,” according to the Gainesville Police Department, although it’s unclear which two. All three suspects were in the Alachua County Jail Friday. The Fears brothers are being held under $1 million bond and Tenbrink is under a $3 million bond, police said.
Hundreds of protesters had gathered outside of the University of Florida on Thursday to protest Spencer’s appearance. Clashes have previously broken out in the past year at other campus events that featured Spencer, including those at Auburn University and Texas A&M University.