Update, 4:05 p.m. ET: The driver of the car that killed Heather Heyer is being held without bail on second degree murder charges, CBS News reports. He is also charged with malicious wounding and failure to stop at the scene of an accident that resulted in a death. Additionally, he will be the subject of a civil rights investigation with charges to come.
This story was originally published on August 13, 2017.
One person was killed, and 19 others were injured when a pair of cars intentionally drove into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, VA, the New York Times reports. The violence erupted amid a planned Unite the Right rally over the town's decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. The Associated Press shared a video of the car driving into the crowd (warning: video is extremely graphic). Mayor Mike Singer confirmed on NBC's Meet The Press that the victim was Heather Heyer, a Charlottesville resident who was 32 years old.
The Virginia State Police confirmed that one person was dead and that the crash will be investigated as vehicular homicide. At a press conference on Saturday evening, the Charlottesville police chief stated that the violence was "premeditated."
14 other people were injured in violence between white nationalist protesters and counterprotesters. The police chief confirmed that no injuries resulted from "engagement with law enforcement." The white nationalist rally brought out members of the alt-right, white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and the KKK. Former Klan leader David Duke was in attendance, as was alt-right leader Richard Spencer, whose arrest was captured on social media but has not been confirmed by new outlets. The counterprotesters included Antifa, members of the local clergy and religious groups, and Black Lives Matter activists, among others. None of the 14 injuries sustained from fights between protesters were life-threatening.
The driver of the car is in police custody. He is Alex James Fields Jr. and is a resident of Maumee, OH. The white nationalist rally began with a procession of white supremacists carrying torches on Friday night through the University of Virginia. White nationalists have felt emboldened by President Trump, who on Saturday did not disavow their views, stating instead that there is "hate, bigotry, and violence on all sides."