A young woman killed when a young man drove a Dodge Challenger into a group of people during white supremacist protests that turned violent Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday (Aug 12) has been identified as Heather Heyer, 32, a paralegal from a neighbouring town.
Heyer was left lying on the pavement next to another victim, the New York Daily News reported,after the car ploughed into the crowd but it was not known if she died at the scene.
The paper said she had apparently come to town to join others in staging a counter-protest to the rally by white supremacists, the paper said, in the picturesque town that is home to the University of Virginia.
The Independent noted that in her last posting on facebook, Heyer had written: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
Heyer’s mother said in the statement on a GoFundMe page set up in her daughter’s name that: “She died doing what was right. My heart is broken, but I am forever proud of her.”
A friend, Felicia Correa, said on the GoFundMe page that Heyer was “murdered while protesting hate”. “She will truly be missed,” she wrote.
The GoFundMe page had already surpassed its target of raising US$50,000 ($68,000) by Sunday afternoon (Aug 13).
The paper said Heyer was from Stanardsville, Virginia, some 40 kilometres from Charlottesville but worked a paralegal at the Miller Law Group in college town, according to her LinkedIn page.
A vigil was planned in her honour later Sunday evening in Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park, which had been the scene of the white nationalist rally and counter-protests on Saturday.
The driver of the Dodge Challenger that plowed into the crowd was alleged to be James Fields, a 20-year-old man from Maumee, Ohio. Police arrested him and lhe was charged with second-degree murder, and other crimes connected related to the hit-and-run.
The Daily News ran a photo of the man it identified as the suspect that it said it had taken earlier in a group of white men holding black-and-white shields emblazoned with logo of Vanguard America, a neo-Nazi hate group.
Two others were killed as a result of the violence on Saturday. A Virginia State Police helicopter that was assisting those despatched to bring the violence on the ground under control crashed near a golf course and burst into flames.
The pilot, Lt H Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Virginia, and Berke MM Bates, 40, a trooper-pilot of Quinton, Virginia., died at the scene.
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