A man from Florida says that he broke up & # 39; When armed with two pistols, he drove to a stranger's house and opened fire after engaging in a political dispute with the victim on Facebook.
Brian Sebring, 44, of Tampa, was arrested Monday for shooting Alex Stephens, 46, also of Tampa, on the thigh and buttocks.
Police said Sebring and Stephens, who had never met but lived in the same neighborhood, had a discussion in the comments section of a Facebook post about President Donald Trump.
Brian Sebring (left in his arrest police photo) was arrested for shooting Alex Stephens (right in a previous, unrelated police photo) on his thigh and buttocks after his online disagreement
Sebring said the discussion began after he commented on a friend's post criticizing criminals who can not vote
Sebring, a registered Democrat who often shares publications criticizing Trump, told the Tampa Bay Times that the dispute quickly became personal and Stephens sent messages threatening to harm his wife and two children.
"I'm not bad," Sebring said, "but I mean this guy threatened to hurt my family, and I got out of the depths, I was not thinking right, you know, after this I'll go see a therapist or something , friend, because that's kind of scary, you could lose your temper like that and do something so stupid.
Sebring, who was previously arrested and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, said he commented on a friend's post and made a comment about the criminals who could not vote.
He said his comment received hundreds of responses, one of them from Stephens, a convicted felon who lost his right to vote.
Sebring said he wrote: "If you want to express your opinion, do not do criminal activity, do not get caught, be a productive member of society."
Sebring armed himself with an AR-15 and a Glock and drove to Stephens' house on Wallace Ave (pictured), only two miles from his house and shot him when Stephens charged him.
Sebring, a registered Democrat, said he had made the comments in a post about President Donald Trump
Sebring, who has criticized Trump online, said he made a comment about criminals who can not vote when Stephens, a criminal, started sending threatening messages to him.
According to reports, Stephens, who served prison sentences for theft and possession of cocaine, sent Sebring a private message on Facebook threatening to harm his wife and autistic son. Stephens also sent Sebring his address and told him that he would "come closer". so they could handle their disagreement in person.
Sebring said he was scared and wanted to protect his family, telling the Times that he had sent a message to Stephens threatening to shoot him.
"Dude, I'm going to empty a full 5.56 magazine in your head," the message read, according to the Times. & # 39; You really want me to go to your (home) & # 39;
Sebring said the round-trip discussion lasted for two days, until after work on Monday he armed himself with an AR-15 carbine and a Glock semiautomatic pistol and headed for Stephens' house.
"I just broke and let primordial anger take over," he told the Times.
Stephens (left) was released from the hospital and is recovering at home, and Sebring (right) faces serious battery charges aggravated with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed firearm.
In an interview with ABC Action News, Sebring said he never intended to use the weapons, but pulled the gun when Stephens charged him.
I took two steps back, I pulled out my gun. He was shot in the hip and when he ran, I shot him in the ass, "he said," I did not want to hurt anyone, I'm not a hardcore delinquent.
He added: "It was stupid, stupid! Ruin my life for this."
Sebring surrendered to the police after the altercation. He was released from the Hillsborough County Jail on Tuesday night with a $ 9,500 bonus.
He faces serious battery charges aggravated with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed firearm.
Stephens was discharged from the hospital and is recovering at home.