A man who recently spent at least $60 to boost his neo-Nazi presence online was arrested this week for allegedly shooting a woman who took a Nazi flag from his lawn.
Neighbors in Hunter, Oklahoma, knew Alexander Feaster as the guy who flew swastika flags at his house. But when a woman reportedly stole one of the flags on a dare this week, Feaster allegedly opened fire on her. Feaster, 44, is currently facing charges of shooting with the intent to kill and assault and battery with a deadly weapon.
The charges are the latest escalation in what appears to have been a year-long descent into open neo-Nazism.
Police say Feaster opened fire on a 26-year-old woman who took one of his two Nazi flags early Sunday morning. The woman, who had been at a nearby party, attempted the stunt on a dare, and was moving away from Feaster’s house when he opened fire, according to Garfield County Sheriff Judy Helm.
Feaster is currently being held in jail without bond. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer. The unnamed victim was expected to recover from four bullet wounds.
Meanwhile, the flags had been an eyesore for about a year, neighbors told Kansas City’s KFOR.
“It’s never really been a problem. His flags got stolen a couple times when he first put them out but nothing ever came of it. This is the first time it’s ever come to violence,” the neighbor told the station. “He’s been out mowing neighbors’ yards and just smiling and waving at everyone.”
The neighbor added that Feaster sometimes went out in public wearing an all-black uniform with a swastika armband.
Feaster has owned the home since 2017, property records show, suggesting the more recent appearance of the swastika flags signaled an ideological shift, and not a publicly racist resident moving into the neighborhood. (Although it’s unclear exactly when the swastika flags went up last year, Feaster divorced his now ex-wife in August.)
Another indication of a recent shift to open neo-Nazism was Feaster’s account on Gab, a social media site beloved by the far right, including alleged Tree of Life mass-murderer Robert Bowers. Feaster joined the site in November and became a blue-check “verified” user. Unlike on other social media sites that use a blue check to indicate verified accounts, Gab gives checkmarks to people who pony up for its “pro” program, which costs at least $60 upfront for a one-year membership.
Feaster used his own name and photograph on the verified account, along with a swastika banner, and the motto of the Nazis’ Waffen SS in his bio.
Feaster didn’t seem to get much for his money. He has no live posts, although he may have made and deleted three, according to information on Gab’s admittedly buggy interface. Gab did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Joining Gab as an explicit neo-Nazi in late 2019 was arguably a weird move anyway, since any fascist who’s anyone has long since moved on to other platforms. It’s like trying to build a brand on MySpace as a musician in 2020. You can, but it’s pretty dead on there.
When police searched Feaster’s house after the shooting, they found 14 guns, Helm said.
Although the swastikas hadn’t resulted in violence before, one neighbor told the Enid News and Eagle that the flags felt like a time bomb.
“I feel like these flags are a disaster waiting to happen,” she said.