Three men have been charged with attempted murder in Gainesville, Florida, for firing a shot at anti-Nazi protesters after a speech by white supremacist leader Richard Spencer on Thursday.
The Gainesville Police Department released a report Friday saying Tyler Tenbrink, 28, and brothers William and Colton Fears, ages 30 and 28, respectively, were arrested on homicide charges soon after Spencer’s speech.
The three men, all from Texas, were in a vehicle when they began shouting and making Nazi salutes at a group of people holding protest signs at a bus stop, according to police.
A police report said Tenbrink, a convicted felon, got out of the car after one of the protesters struck the back window with a baton.
The report said Tenbrink brandished a gun while the Fears brothers shouted “kill them” and “shoot them.” Police say Tenbrink fired a single shot, which hit a nearby building. In addition to the attempted murder charge, Tenbrink is also being charged as a felon in possession of a firearm.
Police say the suspects fled the scene and were apprehended by police later that evening.
Police said at least two of the three have ties to “extremist groups,” but did not specify which two of the men.
The Fears brothers are being held under $1 million bond each, while Tenbrink is being held under a $3 million bond.
Spencer shouted down
Earlier Thursday, Spencer spoke at the University of Florida when protesters shouted him down.
“You are cowardly trying to shut down a movement that is growing and it’s going to stand up for white people,” Spencer hollered as the crowd chanted “No more Spencer.”
He accused the crowd of not believing in free speech and being unwilling to have a debate. They countered with shouts of “We don’t want your Nazi hate.”
The University of Florida in Gainesville is a public university and could not stop Spencer from speaking. But the school says it did not invite him. School officials say they spent $600,000 for extra security for the speech.
Spencer’s National Policy Institute paid about $10,000 to rent the hall.
Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for the entire county where the Gainesville campus is located. It was a precaution against the same kind of deadly violence between neo-Nazis and demonstrators that killed one person and injured at least 30 in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August.