A Facebook squabble over politics got heated — real heated — and ended with one man driving to a stranger's home and shooting him twice.
The social-media spat between Brian Sebring (left), 44, and Alex Stephens (right), 46, escalated to the point where Stephens hurled threats at his online debate opponent — who, in response, showed up to Sebring’s Tampa home on Monday night carrying a handgun and an AR-15 rifle, according to a police press release obtained by Oxygen.com.
"After receiving several explicit messages and threats, [Sebring] responded to the victim’s home to confront him in reference to the messages," police said.
Cops believe he honked at the home until Stephens came out and a scuffle ensued. Sebring allegedly shot Stephens twice with a handgun before both men fled the scene. Stephens went to the hospital with non-threatening injuries and has since been released while Sebring turned himself into police. Sebring was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed firearm. He was released on Tuesday night on a $9,500 bond.
"I’m not a bad guy," Sebring told the Tampa Bay Times, "But I mean, this guy threatened to hurt my family, and I went off the deep end. I wasn’t thinking right. You know, after this I’m going to go see a therapist or something, man, because that’s some scary s---, that I could lose my temper like that and do something so stupid."
A post about President Trump on one of Sebring’s Facebook friend’s pages reportedly triggered the violence. Sebring had mentioned something about felons being unable to vote and voice their opinions. Sebring is a registered Democrat and Stephens is a felon with former conviction for robbery and cocaine possession, TIME reported.
“I ruined my life over this,” Sebring told the Tampa Bay Times. “Now my mother is too afraid to leave the house, my sons are afraid to walk to school or church, all because of some keyboard gangsters.”
[Photo: Tampa Police Department]