They allegedly threw off Hitler salutes and yelled Nazi chants before shooting at a group of protesters after white supremacist Richard Spencer gave a speech at the University of Florida Thursday evening.
Touchberry said hundreds of state troopers came into Gainesville to prepare to the event.
William Henry Fears, 30, Colton Gene Fears, 28, and Tyler Tenbrink, 29, each face charges of attempted homicide, the Gainesville Sun reports. And even after Spencer's "Unite the Right" rally on a Virginia campus in August devolved into violence and left a woman dead, UF administrators could not prevent his visit, they could only prepare for it.
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The Gainesville Police Department said three Texas men pulled up to a bus stop and taunted a group of people immediately following the alt-right figure's speech on Thursday. The victim of the shooting heard someone in a moving vehicle shout at a group of people, "Hail Hitler!" along with other hateful chants. As the brothers urged him to use it, Tenbrink then fired one shot, thankfully missing the group. Police say the Jeep drove about 10 feet and stopped.
Another bystander said they memorized the license plate number of the auto and shared it with police.
"What it seemed like was that law enforcement in the state, and in the county and the city had seen what happened in Charlottesville and they were not going to make the same mistake happen, so they were certainly prepared", he said. Police reports state that one of the victims took down the license plate number of the Jeep.
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Police have said that at least two of these men have connections to extremist groups and that Tyler Tenbrink is a convicted felon.
Detectives said Tenbrink "willfully and willingly fired a deadly weapon" with the "intent to kill", according to his arrest report. Tenbrink went on to recite the "14 words" used as a motto by white supremacists: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children". He is also being charged as a felon in possession of a firearm, police said.
'It's always been socially acceptable to punch a Nazi, to attack people if they have right-wing political leanings, ' William Fears told The Gainesville Sun. They claimed that protesters had nothing to fear from them.
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It was not clear whether police or prosecutors are contemplating seeking hate-crime enhancements to the charges.