Political dispute escalates from Facebook to AR-15 shooting

A dispute over politics on Facebook went from virtual to physical this week when one man shot another in the thigh and buttocks, officials said.

Authorities said Brian Sebring, 44, shot Alex Stephens, 46, after their political argument became too heated, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Sebring is a registered Democrat, the report said, while Stephens, a former felon, has no party affiliation, the report said, citing corrections records.

“After receiving several explicit messages and threats, the defendant responded to the victim’s home to confront him in reference to the messages,” a police official said, according to the Times.

Sebring reportedly arrived at Stephens’ home with a Glock handgun and an AR-15 rifle, honked his truck horn and waited by his vehicle for Stephens to come out of his home.

Stephens saw Sebring and “immediately sprinted” toward him, Tampa’s WFLA-TV reported.

After Sebring fired two shots, striking Stephens in the right thigh and buttocks, both men fled, the report said.

The relationship between the two men was not immediately clear.

Sebring later surrendered to police and has been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed firearm, the station reported.

Stephens had non-life-threatening injuries.

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