On Oct.19, white supremacists gathered to hear one of their leaders, Richard Spencer, speak at the University of Florida. The event ended in violence. Tyler Tenbrink, 28, was a participant in the event and afterward he fired his gun at a group of counter protestors. Fortunately, no one was physically harmed.
Tenbrink and his two companions were also at the Charlottesville torch-lit march and Unite the Right rally in August. These events in Virginia ended in numerous injuries and the death of Heather Heyer, who was killed when white supremacist James Alex Fields, Jr. rammed his car into a crowd of counter protestors. The Miller Firm filed a lawsuit against the white supremacists on behalf of victims Tadrint and Micah Washington after this attack. These sisters were driving home when Fields drove his car into theirs and into the crowd. The racial hatred and violence at the Charlottesville gatherings led Florida Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency before the event in his state. The U.S. government has labeled these neo-Nazis and white supremacists groups domestic terrorists and their legacy of violence continued in Florida.
Along with many other colleges, the University of Florida denied Spencer’s request to speak, but in response to a threat of a lawsuit regarding his First Amendment rights, they allowed him to use a venue they rent out. Increased security for the event cost around $600,000. Spencer’s speech was largely drowned out by thousands of protestors chanting, “Go home, Spencer!” and “Nazis are not welcome here!”
Tenbrink, the shooter in Florida, was with Colton Fears, 28, and William Fears, 30, at the time of this incident. The three men from Texas pulled up in a Jeep to a crowd of counter-protestors and began to shout, “Heil Hitler” and give Nazi salutes. An argument ensued and when one of the counter protestors hit the jeep, Tenbrink jumped out with his gun and the three men began to shout, “”I’m going to f– kill you,” “Kill them” and “Shoot them,” the Chicago Tribune reports. Tenbrink fired and missed, and the three drove off. One of the counter protestors got their license plate. They were stopped and arrested for attempted homicide and are being held on at least a $1 million bond.
William Fears told The Washington Post he came to the Charlottesville event ready for violence and engaged in fights while there. He added that this movement was “like a war” and that he was prepared to become a martyr. Tenbrink shared the following white supremacist slogan with the press: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
The Miller Firm is committed to fight terrorism both domestic and abroad through the court system and is presently accepting clients who were injured either physically or emotionally by violence incited by the organizers and attendees of the Unite-the-Right rally in Charlottesville, VA. If this has happened to you, please request a free consultation. You also can call the Miller Firm at 1-800-882-2525 and ask for Timothy Litzenburg, Jeffrey Travers or David Dickens.