Police have identified the killer in Saturday’s terror attack in Virginia as 20-year-old James A. Fields, Jr. of Ohio.
Mr. Fields rammed his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters picketing against white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one and injuring 19.
The victim was identified as Heather Heyer, 32, of Virginia.
My heart goes out to Heather Heyer's family. She died standing up against hate & bigotry. Her bravery should inspire all to come together. pic.twitter.com/1Zbi2D2Vgq— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) August 13, 2017
Hundreds of white supremacists, including neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members, had gathered in the Virginia town to rally against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a general of the pro-slavery Confederate States Army in the U.S. civil war.
While organizers cited the removal of the controversial statue as the reason for the rally, they also vowed to “take America back.”
Many protesters waved Confederate flags and chanted fascist and nationalist slogans.
Counter-protesters numbering in the hundreds arrived and carried their own signs and flags. Shortly after their arrival, violence broke out between the two groups.
Witnesses saw demonstrators attacking others with clubs and pepper spray.
The unrest prompted Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency and send the National Guard to the town to restore order.
At a news conference, the governor said he had a message for “all the white supremacists and Nazis who came into Charlottesville today: Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth.”
As the situation appeared to be calming down, a car with Ohio license plates rammed into a crowd that was celebrating after the white nationalists had left the area.
The driver, James A. Fields, Jr., attempted to flee the scene but was apprehended by police. He has since been charged with second-degree murder.
A photographer at the protest noted that he had photographed Mr. Fields earlier that day. The picture depicted him holding a shield bearing the symbol of Vanguard America, a fascist organization.