Trump Trauma

Victim and Suspect in White Supremacist Terror Attack in Charlottesville Have Been Identified

The man who drove a car into the crowd is an avowed white supremacist.

Photo Credit: Screen Capture from Twitter via Lauren Berg.

Heather Heyer, the woman tragically killed in an attack in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday, was a 32-year-old paralegal who expressed outrage on Facebook against the racist rally held in her hometown. Her alleged killer, James Alex Fields, 20, was a white supremacist who shared Hitler and Pepe the Frog memes on social media.

Fields has been accused of driving a sports car into a crowd of counterprotesters near the University of Virginia campus. The crash left one dead and 19 injured.

Speculation as to who was behind the attack ran rampant on Saturday. The alt-right insisted that the killer was a member of Antifa [antifacist protesters]. But after law enforcement identified the suspect as Fields, a resident of Ohio, it became clear that the violence came at the hands of a white supremacist.

Photos from the protest showed unequivocally what side Fields was on Saturday.

James Alex Fields was w/ the Vanguard America folks in #Charlottesville. Learn more about the group >

— Oren Segal (@orensegal) August 13, 2017

The Anti-Defamation League discerned that the shield Fields was carrying was from Vanguard America, a neo-Nazi group devoted to an America that exclusively belongs to white men.

According to the New York Daily News, Fields’ Facebook page was littered with alt-right and Nazi imagery, including a photo of baby Hitler and a cartoon of Pepe the Frog. His account was deactivated around 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

Heyer attended the rally Saturday for reasons contradictory to her alleged killer.

“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention,” Heyer wrote on Facebook Sunday, an apparent reference to the white supremacist rally that took place in the town where she worked.

Heyer’s friends told the Daily News that she died fighting for a cause she believed in.

“She died doing what was right,” Felicia Correa, a childhood friend of Heyer’s, said. “My heart is broken, but I am forever proud of her.”


Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_.

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