Three men from Texas, who drove to Gainesville to attend Richard Spencer’s speech Thursday, were arrested after one of the men shot into a group of protesters, Gainesville Police said.
About an hour after Spencer’s event ended at the Phillips Center of Performing Arts, at about 5:30 p.m., brothers William Fears, 30, and Colton Fears, 28, of Passadena, Texas and their friend 28-year-old Tyler Tenbrink of Richmond, Texas, were driving in a silver Jeep and stopped at the corner of Southwest 34th Street and Southwest Archer Road to argue with protesters who were at a bus stop, according to a press release.
Witnesses told police they heard one of the car’s passengers yell “Heil Hitler” and other chants, according to an arrest report.
Tenbrink got out of his car, as the Fears brothers encouraged him to shoot and kill the protesters, said GPD spokesperson Officer Ben Tobias. He shot once into the group of six to eight people, missing the group and hitting the side of the Radio Shack building, and got back into the Jeep.
As the three drove away, one member of the group that had just been shot at, read and remembered the license plate number on the Jeep, Tobias said.
“I am absolutely blown away by the strength of this person and their ability to recall details,” Tobias said.
Less than four hours later, about 20 miles north of Gainesville, a deputy of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, who was off duty and on his way home, spotted the Jeep and matching license plate, according to the arrest report.
Alachua Police Department, High Springs Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol stopped the car at mile marker 405 on Interstate 75, according to the press release.
The Fears brothers stood on Hull Road before Spencer’s speech and talked to press Thursday. Colton Fears, who identified himself as Sam Hyde to reporters, was wearing a Nazi-era pin with a skull symbol and said he wanted to get into the event to hear Spencer speak.Post too long. Click here to view the full text.