The Gainesville Police Department said in a news release Friday that 28-year-old Tyler Tenbrink, 30-year-old William Fears and 28-year-old Colton Fears, all from Texas, were arrested on attempted homicide charges. Police said that at least two of the men have shown ties to extremist groups. Tenbrink was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
One of the men at the bus stop pulled out a baton and hit the rear window of the Jeep, authorities said.
One of the three men began cheering Adolf Hitler and chanting after they drove up to a bus stop where a small group of people were sitting Thursday afternoon, The Gainesville Sun reported.
Tenbrink allegedly fired a single shot at the group, which did not injure anyone and struck a nearby building.
One of the protesters noted the Jeep's license plate number and the men were picked up 20 miles outside of Gainesville late Thursday night.
The suspects fled in a auto and were later arrested by an off-duty officer who noticed the vehicle while driving home from working at the Spencer event, police said.
The Fears brothers are being held with a $1 million bond.
Tenbrink allegedly fired at the group of protesters, police said. Tenbrink described himself as a white nationalist and said he was interested in "preserving our heritage and the American way of life". Tenbrink was being held with a $3 million bond.
Leading up to the start of the event, audience members at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts began to boo before Spencer even took the stage.
Hours before the shooting, all three men had spoken with the media in support of Spencer's speech and white nationalism.
The three men had been spotted by HuffPost at the protests surrounding the Spencer event earlier in the day.
One of the protesters then hit the Jeep's rear window with a baton before the vehicle sped off, then abruptly stopped. "It appears that the only answer left is violence, and nobody wants that".
Tenbrink and William were spotted in Charlottesville, Va., site of the largest white nationalist gathering in years that erupted in violence.
The Gainesville Police Department posted a message on its Facebook page Wednesday, writing, "For months, GPD has been preparing a comprehensive safety and security plan for this week". That meant a state of emergency being declared in Gainesville by Gov. Rick Scott, the influx of more than 1,000 law enforcement officers to watch over almost 2,500 demonstrators and a virtual suspension of normal campus life - not to mention the outsize attention Spencer craves.
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