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Richard Spencer Supporters Arrested for Shooting at Protesters in Florida

Richard Spencer Supporters Arrested for Shooting at Protesters in Florida

Richard Spencer Supporters Arrested for Shooting at Protesters in Florida

William Fears, Colton Fears, Tyler Tenbrink, all of Texas, arrested Thursday night, October 19, 2017, in Gainesville, Fla., after allegedly firing a shot at a group at a bus stop following an appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida.

Tenbrik and the two other men, 30-year-old William Fears and 28-year-old Colton Fears, are all from Texas and were arrested Thursday night about 20 miles from Gainsville, where the altercation took place.

Police say at least two of the men have connections to extremist groups but didn't immediately identify which ones. 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.

Police said shortly before 5:30 p.m., a silver Jeep stopped to argue with a group of protesters near a bus stop.

After threatening the protesters and making Nazi salutes, Tenbrink fired a single shot at them as the Fears brothers yelled "kill them" and "shoot them", police said.

One victim called police and "amazingly" recited to them the license plate number, police said. Multiple local police units and the Florida Highway Patrol conducted a high-risk felony traffic stop on Interstate 75 near High Springs and Lake Butler, and the three Texas men were arrested.

Tenbrink is being held on $3 million bond. In one interview, William Fears said protesters did not need to be afraid of them.

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

The added precautions stem partly from Gov. Rick Scott's decision on Wednesday to declare a state of emergency before the event. "But if he argues he got out of his auto to check on the damage, was confronted by the guy with the baton, and said he felt threatened, then that's Stand Your Ground".

Earlier Thursday, Tenbrink told the paper he had driven to Gainesville from Houston to see Spencer speak.

The protests in Gainesville were mostly peaceful.

Spencer previously helped organize the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, at which heavily armed white nationalists fought with counterprotesters in a bloody day of violence.

"We had complete unknown about the numbers of people who they may be coming to our area and what their intent would be", said Sheriff Darnell.

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