GAINESVILLE, Florida- Gainesville area law enforcement located and arrested three men about 20 miles north of Gainesville late Thursday for their role in a shooting that followed the afternoon speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer.
28 year-old Tyler Tenbrink of Richmond, Texas; 30 year old William Fears and 28 year-old Colton Fears of Passadena, Texas are all currently in the Alachua County Jail on charges of Attempted Homicide after an investigation revealed they engaged in an argument with another group of people that turned violent with gunfire. At least two of the three have shown connections to extremist groups. Tenbrink is a convicted felon and faces additional charges of possession of a firearm by convicted felon, police said in a 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. The suspects then fled in a silver Jeep.
One of the victims amazingly remained calm and was able to get the vehicle tag number and reported it immediately to law enforcement, police said. Due to the Richard Spencer event, law enforcement resources from the local, state and Federal level were still operating in “Unified Command” which allowed local investigators and FBI analysts to quickly identify the vehicle and possible occupants. This information was immediately relayed to area law enforcement to look for the vehicle.
Neo-Nazis arrested after attempting to kill protesters following Richard Spencer event http://missourinetwork.tv/neo-nazis-arrested-after-attempting-to-kill-protesters-following-richard-spencer-event/
Shortly before 9:00pm, Alachua County Deputy A. Diaz was off duty and on the way home after working the Spencer event operation. He was miles north of the last location of the vehicle that was known from intelligence reports, but began searching and ultimately located the vehicle. Units from Alachua Police Department, High Springs Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol conducted a high-risk Felony stop on the vehicle at the 405 Mile Marker of Interstate 75 North and took the three into custody.
Officer Ben Tobias, the spokesperson for GPD praised the quick thinking victim and area law enforcement. “I am amazed that immediately after being shot at, a victim had the forethought to get the vehicle’s license number” Tobias said. “That key piece of information allowed officials from every level of multiple agencies to quickly identify and arrest these persons. This was an amazing team effort by everyone involved.”
“This incident and how quickly it was handled displays the true teamwork that went into yesterdays Unified Command Center activation” said Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell. “Information was quickly gathered and disseminated to all law enforcement partners involved and a potentially dangerous situation was averted quickly with the arrests.”
The three remain in the Alachua County Jail. The Fears brothers are under $1M bond and Tenbrink under a $3M bond.