3 white supremacists charged with attempted murder after Richard Spencer speech

Violet Powell
October 21, 2017

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.

A Gainesville Police Department report released on Friday said that Tyler Tenbrink, 28; William Fears, 30; and his brother, 28-year-old Colton Fears, all from Texas, were arrested on attempted homicide charges following an appearance on campus by white nationalist Richard Spencer. 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.

One of the men at the bus stop pulled out a baton and hit the rear window of the Jeep, authorities said.

The men reportedly began threatening to "f*cking kill" and "shoot" the protesters, before eventually offering the Nazi salute and shouting "Heil Hitler".

Tenbrink fired a single shot that missed the people, police said, and hit a nearby building. The Jeep fled the scene, but someone from the group was able to take down its plate number.

They remain in Alachua County Jail - the Fears brothers on $1 million bond, and Tenbrink on an even heftier $3 million bond.

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The Gainesville Sun reported that William Fears had told them Thursday that he believed James Fields, the man accused of driving his auto into a crowd of people protesting the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, killing one woman and injuring others, wasn't unjustified. The vehicle pulled away momentarily, and then quickly stopped.

Outside, hundreds more people protested with signs and anti-Nazi chants alongside hundreds of police officers there to prevent violence.

The three men had been spotted by HuffPost at the protests surrounding the Spencer event earlier in the day. "We don't want to hear him speak", protester Izzy Rudin said.

Five people had minor injuries and were immediately treated by fire rescue teams, authorities said. One person was killed after a driver plowed his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters, and at least 19 others were injured.

William Fears is an "active white supremacist" with ties to several white supremacist groups, including Vanguard America, Patriot Front and others, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Security costs for the University of Florida Police Department, Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff's Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies total more than $500,000, according to the school website.

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