One Dead And 19 Injured As Car Strikes Crowds Along Route Of White Nationalist Rally In Charlottesville

CHARLOTTESVILLE — A man accused of plowing a car into a crowd of activists here — killing one person and injuring 19 — long sympathized with Nazi views and had stood with a group of white supremacists hours before Saturday’s bloody crash.

The alleged driver, James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old who traveled to Virginia from Ohio, had espoused extremist ideals at least since high school, according to Derek Weimer, a history teacher.

Weimer said he taught Fields during his junior and senior years at Randall K. Cooper High School in Kentucky. For a class called “America’s Modern Wars,” Fields wrote a deeply researched paper about the Nazi military during World War II, Weimer recalled.

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“It was obvious that he had this fascination with Nazism and a big idolatry of Adolf Hitler,” the teacher said. “He had white supremacist views. He really believed in that stuff.”

Fields’s research project into the Nazi military was well written, Weimer said, but it appeared to be a “big lovefest for the German military and the Waffen-SS.”

As a teacher, he said, he highlighted historical facts and used academic reasoning in an attempt to steer Fields away from his infatuation with the Nazis.

“This was something that was growing in him,” Weimer said. “I admit I failed. I tried my best. But this is definitely a teachable moment and something we need to be vigilant about, because this stuff is tearing up our country.”

By the weekend’s finish, Fields had become the face of one of the ugliest days in recent U.S. history. After marching through the University of Virginia’s campus carrying torches and spewing hate Friday night, hundreds of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members gathered Saturday in downtown Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue memorializing Robert E. Lee. As they waved Confederate flags and screamed racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs, the protesters — almost all white and male — were met with fierce resistance from activists who had come to stop them.

“No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” the counterprotesters chanted, holding “Black Lives Matter” signs and placards calling for equality and love.

Who threw the first punch or launched the first rock was, it seemed, impossible to say, but by midmorning, fists and faces had been bloodied. Members of both sides wielded sticks and shields. In one of the most intense confrontations, a group of white supremacists charged into a line of activists, swinging clubs and bashing bodies. The activists fought back, tossing balloons filled with paint and spraying stinging chemicals into the faces of their adversaries.

When the chaos subsided late Saturday, a young woman and two state police officers, who had crashed in a helicopter, were dead, and many more were hurt. Saturday evening, five people were in critical condition and 14 others were being treated for lesser injuries received when the car struck the crowd. By Sunday, 10 were in good condition and nine had been discharged from the University of Virginia Medical Center.

At least a dozen other people were treated after being injured in street brawls.

[Petula Dvorak: Trump lit the white supremacist’s torches. We must extinguish them.]

On Sunday, President Trump continued to receive sharp criticism, even from members of his own party, for failing to directly condemn white supremacists — who, in turn, praised him for not doing so. Meanwhile, thousands of people were expected to gather at vigils in Charlottesville, Washington and beyond Sunday night.

Their messages focused largely on healing, but many people who had witnessed Saturday’s most terrifying moment, either in person or on video, were struggling to move on.

A viral recording captured the scene: A sedan and a minivan rolled to a stop in a road packed with activists. Suddenly, a 2010 Dodge Challenger smashed into the back of the sedan, shoving tons of metal into the crowd and launching bodies through the air. The Dodge then rapidly went into reversed, hitting more people.

Warning: This slideshow may contain graphic images.

  • Slide 1 of 37: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists encircle and chant at counter protesters at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017.
  • Slide 2 of 37: CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • Slide 3 of 37: CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Young men hold up torches on the steps of the Rotunda as other Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • Slide 4 of 37: CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: A man is helped after being hit in the face with pepper spray during a clash between counter protestors and Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacist groups after they marched through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • Slide 5 of 37: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists encircle counter protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
  • Slide 6 of 37: CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacist tries to strike a counter protestor with a White Nationalist flag during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • Slide 7 of 37: A white supremacist grabs a counter protesters' sign during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTS1BJTQ
  • Slide 8 of 37: White nationalist demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.  Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
  • Slide 9 of 37: White supremacists clash with counter protesters at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTS1BJP5
  • Slide 10 of 37: Virginia State Police use pepper spray as they move in to clear a clash between members of white nationalist protesters against a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTS1BILL
  • Slide 11 of 37: A counter demonstrator gets a splash of water after being hit by pepper spray at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
  • Slide 12 of 37: A white supremacists stands behind militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTS1BI7J
  • Slide 13 of 37: A vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them.
  • Slide 14 of 37
  • Slide 15 of 37: People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them.
  • Slide 16 of 37: Rescue personnel help an injured woman after a car ran into a large group of protesters after an white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.  The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them.()
  • Slide 17 of 37: People receive first-aid after a car accident ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017.  A picturesque Virginia city braced Saturday for a flood of white nationalist demonstrators as well as counter-protesters, declaring a local emergency as law enforcement attempted to quell early violent clashes.  / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS        (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Slide 18 of 37: James Alex Fields Jr., 20, is seen in a mugshot released by Charlottesville, Virginia police department after being charged with one count of second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of failing to stop at an accident that resulted in a death after police say he drove a car into a crowd of counter protesters during the "Unite the Right" protests by white nationalist and "alt-right" demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.
  • Slide 19 of 37: Virginia State Police cordon off an area around the site where a car ran into a group of protesters after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
  • Slide 20 of 37: Members of white nationalists rally as a group of counter-protesters confront them in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTS1BIFD
  • Slide 21 of 37: CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacists with one lens knocked out of his sunglasses holds up a shield during clashes with counter protestors at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • Slide 22 of 37: CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  Battle lines form between white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" and anti-fascist counter-protesters at the entrance to Lee Park during the "Unite the Right" rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
  • Slide 23 of 37: Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right march down East Market Street toward Lee Park during the Unite the Right rally on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Slide 24 of 37: A white supremacists carries the Confederate flag as he walks past counter demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTS1BI79
  • Slide 25 of 37: Members of a white supremacists militia stand near a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTS1BI70
  • Slide 26 of 37: CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a press conference August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. While speaking about today's violence during a white supremacist rally, McAuliffe said,
  • Slide 27 of 37: US President Donald Trump speaks to the press about protests in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. A picturesque Virginia city braced Saturday for a flood of white nationalist demonstrators as well as counter-protesters, declaring a local emergency as law enforcement attempted to quell early violent clashes.  / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON        (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Slide 28 of 37: CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  A man tends a makeshift candlelight vigil for those who died and were injured when a car plowed into a crowd of anti-fascist counter-demonstrators marching near a downtown shopping area August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The car allegedly plowed through a crowd, and at least one person has died from the incident, following the shutdown of the 'Unite the Right' rally by police after white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right' and counter-protesters clashed near Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • Slide 29 of 37: Charlottesville resident Elliot Harding lights a candle as he places flowers and a stuffed animal at a makeshift memorial for the victims after a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally earlier in the day in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
  • Slide 30 of 37: Counter protesters pay their respects at a vigil where 20 candles were burned for the 19 people injured and one killed when a car plowed into a crowd of counter protesters at the "Unite the Right" rally organized by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg - RTS1BK0Y
  • Slide 31 of 37: CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  People place flowers at a makeshift memorial during a vigil for those who were injured and died when a car plowed into a crowd of anti-facist counter-demonstrators marching near a downtown shopping area August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The car allegedly plowed through a crowed, and at least one person has died from the incident, following the shutdown of the 'Unite the Right' rally by police after white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right' and counter-protesters clashed near Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • Slide 32 of 37: CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 13:  Worshipers sing while attending morning services at Mount Zion First African Baptist Church August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The city of Charlottesville is still reeling following violence at a 'Unite the Right' rally held by white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right'.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • Slide 33 of 37: Flowers surround a photo of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of people protesting against the white supremacist Unite the Right rally, August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville is calm the day after violence errupted around the Unite the Right rally, a gathering of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and members of the 'alt-right,' that left Heyer dead and injured 19 others.
  • Slide 34 of 37: A protester holds a sign reading "Racism is not Patriotism" at a march against white nationalism in New York City, the day after the attack on counter-protesters at the "Unite the Right" rally organized by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 13, 2017.
  • Slide 35 of 37: Dr. Timothy E. Tyler, Pastor of Shorter Community African Methodist Episcopal Church speaks out against the racist violence this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Peace Gathering held at the Martin Luther King Statue in  Denver's City Park, Denver. August 13, 2017 Denver, Colorado.
  • Slide 36 of 37: A vigil is held in downtown Philadelphia on August 13, 2017 in support of the victims of violence at the 'Unite the Right' rally In Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. Vigils are being held across the country following clashes between white supremacists and counter-protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, August 12th. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in Charlottesville when a car allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr. barreled into a crowd of counter-protesters following violence at the 'Unite the Right' rally.
  • Slide 37 of 37: Demonstrators hold signs outside of the White House on August 13, 2017 in Washington, DC,  during a vigil in response to the death of a counter-protestor in the August 12th "Unite the Right" in Charlottesville, Virginia.  A woman died and 19 people were injured in the city of Charlottesville when a car plowed into a crowd of people after a rally by Ku Klux Klan members and other white nationalists turned violent.
>Full screen1/37 SLIDES © Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
White supremacists encircle and chant at counter-protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches, on Aug. 11, 2017.
2/37 SLIDES © Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
White supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches, on Aug. 11, 2017.
3/37 SLIDES © Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Young men hold up torches as other white supremacists march through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 11, 2017. 
4/37 SLIDES © Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
A man is helped after being hit in the face with pepper spray during a clash, on Aug. 11, 2017.
5/37 SLIDES © Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images

White supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches, on Aug. 11, 2017.

6/37 SLIDES © Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
A white supremacist tries to strike a counter protester with a White Nationalist flag during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists were protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va, on Aug. 12, 2017.
7/37 SLIDES © Joshua Roberts/Reuters
A white supremacist grabs a counter protesters' sign, on Aug.12, 2017.
8/37 SLIDES © Steve Helber/AP Photo
White nationalist demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. 
9/37 SLIDES © Joshua Roberts/Reuters
White supremacists clash with counter protesters at a rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017.
10/37 SLIDES © Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Virginia State Police use pepper spray as they move in to clear a clash between members of white nationalist protesters against a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017.
11/37 SLIDES © Steve Helber/AP Photo
A counter demonstrator gets a splash of water after being hit by pepper spray at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. 
12/37 SLIDES © Joshua Roberts/Reuters
A white supremacist stands behind militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017.
13/37 SLIDES © The Daily Progress/AP Photo

A vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. 

14/37 SLIDES  
15/37 SLIDES © Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP

People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.,on Aug. 12, 2017. 

16/37 SLIDES © Steve Helber/AP Photo
Rescue personnel help an injured woman after a car ran into a large group of protesters after an white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. 
17/37 SLIDES © Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images
People receive first-aid after a car ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. 
18/37 SLIDES © Charlottesville Police Department/Handout via REUTERS

James Alex Fields Jr., 20, is seen in a mugshot released by Charlottesville, Virginia police department after being charged with one count of second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of failing to stop at an accident that resulted in a death after police say he drove a car into a crowd of counter protesters during the "Unite the Right" protests by white nationalist and "alt-right" demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug.12.

19/37 SLIDES © Steve Helber/Associated Press
Virginia State Police cordon off an area around the site where a car ran into a group of protesters after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017.
20/37 SLIDES © Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Members of white nationalist groups rally as counter-protesters confront them in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017.
21/37 SLIDES © Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
A white supremacist with one lens knocked out of his sunglasses holds up a shield during clashes with counter protesters at Emancipation Park where the white nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. 
22/37 SLIDES © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Battle lines form between white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right and anti-fascist counter-protesters at the entrance to Lee Park during the "Unite the Right" rally on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. 
23/37 SLIDES © Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right march down East Market Street toward Lee Park during the "Unite the Right" rally, on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va.
24/37 SLIDES © Joshua Roberts/Reuters
A white supremacist carries the Confederate flag as he walks past counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. 
25/37 SLIDES © Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Members of a white supremacist militia stand near a rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. 
26/37 SLIDES © Win McNamee/Getty Images
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a press conference on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia. While speaking about the violence during a white supremacist rally, McAuliffe said, "Please, go home and never come back. Take your hatred and take your bigotry."
27/37 SLIDES © Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump speaks to the press about the protests in Charlottesville on Aug. 12 in Bedminster, New Jersey. 
28/37 SLIDES © Win McNamee/Getty Images
A man tends a makeshift candlelight vigil for those who died and were injured when a car plowed into a crowd of anti-fascist counter-demonstrators marching near a downtown shopping area on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Va.
29/37 SLIDES © Steve Helbe/AP Photo
Charlottesville resident Elliot Harding lights a candle as he places flowers and a stuffed animal at a makeshift memorial for the victims after a car plowed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017.
30/37 SLIDES © Jim Bourg/Reuters
Mourners pay their respects at a vigil where candles were burned for the 19 people injured and one killed when a car plowed into a crowd of counter protesters at the "Unite the Right" rally organized by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12, 2017. 
31/37 SLIDES © Win McNamee/Getty Images
People place flowers at a makeshift memorial during a vigil for those who were injured and died when a car plowed into a crowd of anti-facist counter-demonstrators marching near a downtown shopping area on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Va.
32/37 SLIDES © Win McNamee/Getty Images
Worshipers sing while attending morning services at Mount Zion First African Baptist Church, on Aug. 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va.
33/37 SLIDES © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Flowers surround a photo of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of people protesting against the white supremacist Unite the Right rally, on Aug. 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. 
34/37 SLIDES © Joe Penney/Reuters
A protester holds a sign reading "Racism is not Patriotism" at a march against white nationalism in New York City, the day after the attack on counter-protesters at the "Unite the Right" rally organized by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va, August 13, 2017.
35/37 SLIDES © Joe Amon/The Denver Post/Getty Images
Dr. Timothy E. Tyler, Pastor of Shorter Community African Methodist Episcopal Church speaks out against the racist violence this weekend in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 13, 2017.
36/37 SLIDES © Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images
A vigil is held in downtown Philadelphia on Aug. 13, 2017 in support of the victims of violence at the 'Unite the Right' rally In Charlottesville.
37/37 SLIDES © Zach Gibson/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators hold signs outside the White House on Aug. 13, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
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Photo slideshow by MSN News.

Fields, now the subject of a federal civil rights investigation, was arrested shortly after and charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and another count related to the hit-and-run, police said. He is being held without bail and is scheduled for an arraignment Monday.

Brian Moran, Virginia’s secretary of public safety, said, “He was a terrorist to do what he did.”

[One group loved Trump’s remarks about Charlottesville: White supremacists]

Fields lived in Maumee, Ohio, about 15 miles southwest of Toledo, records show. Family and acquaintances described him as quiet and often solitary.

His father was killed by a drunk driver five months before the boy’s birth, according to an uncle who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Fields’s dad left him money that the uncle kept in a trust until Fields reached adulthood.

“When he turned 18, he demanded his money, and that was the last I had any contact with him,” the uncle said.

Fields, he said, grew up mostly in Northern Kentucky, where he had been raised by a single mother, Samantha Bloom, who is a paraplegic. The uncle, who saw Fields mostly at family gatherings, described his nephew as “not really friendly, more subdued.”

Fields joined the Army in late in the summer of 2015 but was on active duty for less than four months, according to online records from the Defense Department. It was unclear why he served so briefly.

“The what-ifs,” the uncle said. “What could’ve been — you can’t answer questions like that. There’s no way of knowing if his life would have been different if his father had been around.”

Fields’s mother told the Associated Press on Saturday that she didn’t talk to him about his political views. He had mentioned to her that he was going to a rally, but Bloom said they never discussed the details.

“I didn’t know it was white supremacists,” she said. “I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump’s not a supremacist.”

Saturday’s horror was just the latest for her family. Aside from losing Fields’s father in a crash, Bloom’s parents died in a murder-suicide — 33 years ago this month — according to a pair of 1984 newspaper articles. After an argument, Marvin Bloom, a self-employed contractor, killed his wife, Judy, with a 12-gauge shotgun, then put the gun to his head. He was 42, and she was 37. Their daughter, Samantha, was 16.

Richard B. Spencer, a leader in the white supremacist movement who coined the term “alt-right,” said he didn’t know Fields but had been told he was a member of Vanguard America, which bills itself as the “Face of American Fascism.” In a statement tweeted Saturday night, the group denied any connection to Fields.

In several photographs that circulated online, Fields was seen with the group while sporting its unofficial uniform. He wore a white polo shirt, baggy khakis and sunglasses, while holding a black shield that features a common Vanguard symbol.

“The shields seen do not denote membership, nor does the white shirt,” the group said in its statement. “The shields were freely handed out to anyone in attendance.”

Vanguard members did not respond to requests for comment Sunday.

[Charlottesville victim: ‘She was there standing up for what was right’]

Fields has been accused of killing Heather D. Heyer, 32, a Charlottesville resident. Her mother and friends said Heyer went to Saturday’s protest to stand against bigotry and hatred.

“She died for a reason,” said Felicia Correa, a longtime friend. “I don’t see any difference in her or a soldier who died in war. She, in a sense, died for her country. She was there standing up for what was right.”

Killed in the helicopter crash on the outskirts of town were State Police Trooper Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Va., the pilot, and Lt. H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian, Va., a passenger who was also a pilot, according to officials. State police said their Bell 407 chopper was assisting with the unrest in Charlottesville. Bates died one day before his 41st birthday; Cullen was 48.

“Jay Cullen had been flying me around for 3½ years,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said. “Berke was part of my executive protection unit. He was part of my family. The man lived with me 24-7.”

Bates had called the governor Friday, the day before his death, to ask about sending a care package to McAuliffe’s son, a Marine stationed overseas.

On Sunday morning, one day after McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville, he and Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) attended a service at Mount Zion First African Baptist Church. The governor brought the congregation to its feet as he stood at the pulpit and condemned “the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who came to our state yesterday.”

“You pretend you’re patriots. You are not patriots,” he said. “You are dividers.”

[Virginia politicians of all stripes condemn white nationalists — except one]

Later Sunday, Jason Kessler, who had helped organized Saturday’s “Unite the Right” rally, held a news conference near Charlottesville City Hall.

Police snipers stood on the roofs of the two adjacent buildings as they peered through binoculars and steadied their bolt-action rifles on tripods. Police officers dressed in riot gear waited nearby.

Before Kessler could talk, about 100 counterprotesters shouted him down.

“Murderer,” they screamed.

[Video: White nationalist rally organizer chased away by protesters at news conference]

Kessler, dressed in a blazer, tried to speak into the TV microphones, but reporters huddled close by couldn’t hear him. The noise from the crowd of about 100 demonstrators was overwhelming.

Finally, a few protesters broke through the line of reporters and headed toward Kessler. As one extended his middle finger and another lunged at Kessler, police rushed him into city hall.

Twenty minutes later, riot police formed a line around an exit where Kessler was expected to leave. Then, suddenly, he sprinted out of a door around the side of the building and lunged into the back of a marked police SUV, which sped away.

A single activist chased him.

“Shame! Shame! Shame!” he yelled as the car disappeared from view.

 

Joe Heim, Ellie Silverman, Jack Gillum, Jim Higdon and Steve Friess contributed to this report

Source : http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/one-dead-and-19-injured-as-car-strikes-crowds-along-route-of-white-nationalist-rally-in-charlottesville-two-police-die-in-helicopter-crash/ar-AApUdhF?li=BBnb4R7

One dead and 19 injured as car strikes crowds along route of white nationalist rally in Charlottesville; two police die in helicopter crash
Car Strikes Counter-Protesters at White Nationalist Rally, Leaving One Dead and 19 Injured
Shea-Porter on White Nationalist Violence in Charlottesville, VA: ‘This is clear evil.’
One dead, 34 injured in clashes at Virginia white nationalist rally
Trump condemns Charlottesville violence but doesn’t single out white nationalists
At least three dead, dozens injured as U.S. white nationalists ignite Virginia clashes
Recounting a day of rage, hate, violence and death
Man charged with murder for allegedly plowing into crowd in Charlottesville following white nationalist rally
Black UVA alumni respond to Charlottesville racial terror attack
Thousands marched in solidarity with Charlottesville this weekend-take a look
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