Who Was Heather Heyer, Charlottesville Car Attack Victim?
Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car plowed into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally last Saturday afternoon.
“She died doing what was right. My heart is broken, but I am forever proud of her,” Heyer’s mother said on her GoFundMe page.
Heyer wasn’t the only life lost during the rally, 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”.
Mayor 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. 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,’” Signer said.
Sources report that at least 26 people were taken to a local hospital from the rally and counter protests. According to the New York Times, 19 of those victims are believed to have been injured in the car crash.
According to sources, the driver of the vehicle, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio, has been identified by police. He is being held for second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death.
The New York Daily News reports photographing Fields, hours before the attack, marching with the white nationalist group. He was reportedly seen holding a shield with the racially-charged insignia of the Vanguard America hate group.
Sources report that Samantha Bloom, Fields’ mother, said he dropped his cat off at her apartment on Friday so he could attend the rally.
“I told him to be careful,” Bloom told sources. “[And] if they’re going to rally to make sure he’s doing it peacefully.”
Bloomed shared that her son told her about the rally last week but said she wasn’t aware of the racist nature of the event. Bloom also told sources that she had no idea that Fields supporter alt-right views.
“I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump’s not a white supremacist,” she said.
The GoFundMe page set up to help the Heyer family has amassed over $70,000, exceeding the page’s goal of $50,000.
Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, has launched a foundation honoring her late daughter.
The Heather Heyer Foundation will use funds drawn from donations and her GoFundMe page to provide scholarships to students interested in pursuing law, education, social justice issues, and other related topics.
In an interview with The New York Times, Bro spoke about the foundation in her daughter’s name.
“I want to continue her message of paying attention to what’s going on around you,” Bro said.
“Don’t hide your head in the sand. Notice that people are having difficulties and then be accountable in whatever actions you chose so that you can look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I did the right thing”.