The woman killed at a white-nationalist rally in Virginia when a car plowed into several people has been identified by family members.
Heather Heyer, 32, was attending the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally as a counter-protester on Saturday when James Alex Fields Jr, of Ohio, allegedly drove a vehicle into a crowd, killing Heyer as she crossed the street, and injuring 19 others.
“Heather Heyer was murdered while protesting against hate,” her family wrote on GoFundMe. “She died doing what was right. My heart is broken, but I am forever proud of her.”
Heyer, a paralegal, was a native of Greene County.
A spokesperson for University of Virginia Medical Center said early Sunday morning that the hospital was still treating five victims of the incident in critical condition, four in serious and another ten in fair or good condition, CBS reported.
Multiple videos of the crash surfaced after the incident, showing a gray Dodge Charger driving straight into a crowd. Bystanders could be seen running and screaming.
Fields, who is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, is now charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of failing to stop,
Field’s mother, Samantha Bloom, told The Associated Press on Saturday night that she knew her son was attending a rally in Virginia but didn’t know it was a white supremacist rally.
”I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump’s not a white supremacist,” said Bloom.
The federal government has opened a civil rights investigation into the horrific crash.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement Saturday night.
“The Richmond FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia have opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances of the deadly vehicular incident that occurred earlier Saturday morning,” Sessions said. “The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and as this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time.”
White nationalists, including the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis movement leaders, were clashing with counter-protesters at the rally hours before the collision in downtown Charlottesville.
Early Saturday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency as violence escalated.
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