Friends and relatives have identified the victim of Saturday’s domestic terrorist attack in Charlottesville as 32–year–old paralegal Heather Heyer, a native of Virginia.
According to initial news reports and social media accounts, Heyer was crossing the street to join an anti–racist protest when she was struck, along with dozens of others, by a sports car driven by 20–year–old James Alex Fields Jr., a white, radical, homegrown terrorist and Trump supporter from Maumee, OH.
Nineteen others were injured in the attack, many of them seriously. Fields was arrested and charged with one count of second–degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit–and–run, according to The Washington Post, citing local police.
As of Sunday morning, a GoFundMe campaign established to support Heyer’s family had already exceeded its goal of raising $50,000. “Heather Heyer was murdered while protesting against hate. We are raising money to give to her family for anything that they may need,” the campaign states.
“She died doing what was right. My heart is broken, but I am forever proud of her,” Heyer’s mother said, according to the GoFundMe page.
On Heyer’s Facebook page, a profile photo posted last November states, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
A separate GoFundMe campaign started by the co–chair of the Anchorage chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) to help pay medical bills for those who were injured in the attack has so far raised over $100,000.
The attack occurred after the violent “Unite the Right” rally organized by neo–Nazi groups, members of the KKK, and other right–wing bigots was declared unlawful and broken up by police. The chaos and violence became so bad that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency before the rally had even officially started.
As counterdemonstrators, including members of Black Lives Matter, DSA, and Antifa, prepared for a peaceful early–afternoon march through the streets of downtown Charlottesville, Fields, who was identified in photos published on social media as having participated in the white supremacist protest earlier in the day, drove his gray Dodge Challenger at a high speed into the crowd, striking dozens of people and several cars. The attack was captured on several videos shared online, and Fields, who fled the scene, was later caught and arrested.