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5 arrested in connection with white nationalist Richard Spencer's Florida event

21 October, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • 3 Texas men who chanted 'Heil Hitler' charged in shooting after Spencer speech

Three supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer were arrested Thursday for their role in a shooting that followed an afternoon speech by Richard Spencer at the University of Florida.

According to the Gainesville Police Department, 28-year-old Tyler Tenbrink, 30-year-old William Fears, and 28-year-old Colton Fears, all from Texas, are now held on charges of attempted homicide for shooting at the group of protesters.

Police say at least two of the men have connections to extremist groups but didn't immediately identify which ones. Tenbrink admitted to the police that he was the shooter, according to his arrest report, and faces additional charges for possession of a firearm by a felon. 30 year old William Fears and his brother Colton, 28, were with Tenbrink when he drove off in a silver Jeep. Then the Fears brothers, both of Pasadena, Texas, encouraged Tenbrink to shoot the protesters, shouting, "I'm going to fucking kill you", "kill them" and "shoot them", according to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office arrest report. With his friends yelling "kill them" and "shoot them", Tenbrink fired one shot, which missed the protesters and hit the building behind them.

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

The suspects fled in a auto and were later arrested by an off-duty officer who noticed the vehicle while driving home from working at the Spencer event, police said. The Fears brothers were each being held under a $1 million bond.

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".

William Fears was charged in Harris County last week with felony assault of a family member, after police said he choked his girlfriend.




Authorities said two others were arrested, including one for carrying a gun on campus and another for resisting an officer without violence.

Winter Park businessman Chris King was the only Florida governor candidate to attend yesterday's protest of white supremacist Richard Spencer at University of Florida.

A man then hit the Jeep's back window with a baton and the auto abruptly stopped.

Fears told NBC that Spencer's speech will "normalize the idea for white people to have an identity, to advocate for their own interests and to advocate for our own existence".

"They don't have to fear us".

The school estimated it would spend $600 000 on security to ensure no repeat of violent clashes connected to a white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one dead in August.

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