Florida police arrested three Richard Spencer fans for attempted murder Thursday after they opened fire at a group protesting Spencer’s white supremacist rally.
The three Texas men, Tyler Tenbrink and William and Colton Fears, traveled to Spencer’s rally in Gainesville, Fla., and began arguing with counter protesters, who were offering Nazi salutes and chanting about Hitler white sitting in a Jeep, Gainesville Police said in a statement. Tenbrink took out a handgun and the Fears encouraged him to shoot at the protesters.
He eventually fired a single shot, hitting a nearby building, before the three sped off in the vehicle. Police found and arrested the men within four hours of the incident.
“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.”
Law enforcement prepared heavily for Spencer’s rally in anticipation of violence and were able to quickly respond when one of the protesters recorded the Jeep’s license plate and reported it to police. One of the protesters also hit the Jeep with a baton before Tenbrink opened fire, according to Slate.
Two of the men were also coincidentally interviewed by local media before the incident.
“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,” William Fears told the Gainesville Sun. “We don’t want violence; we don’t want harm. But at the end of the day, we’re not opposed to defending ourselves”
Spencer did not respond in time for publication to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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