Victim in Charlottesville Attack Identified as Heather Heyer: 'She Died Doing What Was Right'
Two Virginia state troopers, Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, also died in a helicopter crash near the demonstrations
The woman who was killed when a driver rammed his car into a group of protesters demonstrating against a downtown Charlottesville white nationalist rally Saturday afternoon has been identified.
Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer identified the victim as 32-year-old Heather Heyer during an appearance on Meet The Press Sunday morning, according to NBC News.
A GoFundMe page set up to help her family has raised over $70,000, exceeding their goal of $50,000.
“She died doing what was right. My heart is broken, but I am forever proud of her,” her mother said, according to the donation page.
Two Virginia state troopers, Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, also died in a helicopter crash near the demonstrations. State Police said in a statement that the helicopter was “assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation” when it crashed in a wooded area.
“Three people died who didn’t have to die,” Signer said. “So we’re praying for them and their families and loved ones.”
Signer also denounced President Donald Trump‘s actions during his campaign which Singer said preyed on people’s prejudices and divided the nation.
“The time has come for this to stop,” the mayor said. “This should be a turning point. This movement jumped the shark and it happened yesterday. People are dying and I do think that it’s now on the president and on all of us to say ‘enough is enough.’”
At least 26 people were taken to a local hospital from the rally and counter-protests, the Northwest Herald reports. At least 19 of those victims are believed to be injured in the car crash, according to the New York Times.
Police identified the driver as 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio, according to CNN, Washington Post and the Associated Press. He is being held for second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death.
Hours before the attack, the New York Daily News reports photographing Fields marching with allegedly racist group. Flanked by other men in white polo shirts and khaki pants, he was seen holding a shield with the racially-charged insignia of the Vanguard America hate group.
Samantha Bloom, Fields’ mother, said he dropped his cat off at her apartment on Friday so he could attend the rally, according to the Toledo Blade.
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“I told him to be careful,” Bloom told the outlet. “[And] if they’re going to rally to make sure he’s doing it peacefully.”
The mother shared that Fields told her about the rally last week but said she didn’t know the racist nature of the gathering.
Bloom told the Associated Press that she had no idea her son supported alt-right views, noting that he had an African-American friend.
“I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump’s not a white supremacist,” she said.