The Slatest

Three Richard Spencer Supporters Arrested for Attempted Murder of Protesters in Gainesville

Tyler Tenbrink, William Fears, and Colton Fears.

Gainesville Police Department

Three supporters of white supremacist Richard Spencer have been arrested for the attempted murder of protesters near a Thursday event in Gainesville, Florida, city police announced in a statement. Colton Fears, William Fears, and Tyler Tenbrink were apprehended at 9 p.m. Thursday; William Fears is 30 years old and the others are 28. All three are residents of Texas. From the Gainesville PD statement:

Shortly before 5:30pm, it was reported that a silver Jeep stopped to argue with a group of protesters and began threatening, offering Nazi salutes and shouting chants about Hitler to the group that was near the bus stop. During the altercation, Tenbrink produced a handgun while the Fears brothers encouraged him to shoot at the victims. Tenbrink fired a single shot at the group which thankfully missed the group and struck a nearby building.

Individual arrest reports say that one of the protesters involved in the altercation struck the Jeep with a baton before the shot was fired.

Spencer’s event on the University of Florida campus began at roughly 2:45 p.m. Spencer, who infamously celebrated Donald Trump’s election at a Washington “alt-right” event by giving a speech rife with references to Nazi slogans, also spoke at the Aug. 12 Charlottesville, Virginia, alt-right rally after which protester Heather Heyer was killed by a white supremacist who is accused of intentionally running her over with a car.

In a coincidence, two of the men who were arrested spoke to the Gainesville Sun before the shooting. Said William Fears to the newspaper: “Us coming in and saying we’re taking over your town, we’re starting to push back, we’re starting to want to intimidate back. We want to show our teeth a little bit because, you know, we’re not to be taken lightly. We don’t want violence; we don’t want harm. But at the end of the day, we’re not opposed to defending ourselves.”