Aug 12, 2017, 10:59 PM ET

Man charged with murder for allegedly plowing into crowd in Charlottesville following white nationalist rally

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An Ohio man was charged with murder after a car plowed into a crowd of demonstrators following a foiled white nationalist rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a 32-year-old woman and leaving 19 others injured, police and officials said.

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James Alex Fields, Jr. of Maumee, Ohio faces one count of second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit-and-run after the incident, which sent pedestrians flying. In the wake of the crash, the Department of Justice opened an investigation into the incident.

PHOTO: James Alex Fields, Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio is pictured Saturday, August 12, 2017 in a mugshot released by the Abermarle Charlottesville Regional Jail.Abermarle Charlottesville Regional Jail
James Alex Fields, Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio is pictured Saturday, August 12, 2017 in a mugshot released by the Abermarle Charlottesville Regional Jail.

"It was absolutely the most horrible thing I've ever witnessed," said Brittany Caine-Conley, the lead organizer with Congregate Charlottesville. "We ran to the scene and one of my friends actually tried to hold the wounds together for the woman who has passed away."

In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that "the violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated."

White nationalist and other attendees clashed with those who arrived to oppose the demonstration, which began with a torch-wielding group marching through the city Friday evening and was intended to culminate in an event entitled "Unite the Right," set to begin at noon on Saturday.

However, the event -- which was roundly criticized on both sides of the aisle and included calls for the actions to be deemed terrorism -- was shut down by authorities early Saturday afternoon. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in the city and police ordered the crowds to disperse.

President Trump denounced the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides," but drew scrutiny for not condemning the white nationalists directly.

Dramatic video taken after the demonstration was shut down shows crowds walking along a downtown Charlottesville street as several cars move slowly along the same avenue. Abruptly, a gray Dodge rams into the back of another vehicle, slamming one or more cars ahead of it amid the crowd of protesters. The driver then rapidly reverses away from the scene.

Warning: The video contains graphic images.

The University of Virginia Health System confirmed that 20 patients were brought to UVA Medical Center and that 19 were being "assessed and treated" in addition to the woman who died. Five of the 19 individuals were listed as being in critical condition as of 7 p.m. Saturday.

Thomas identified the victim only as a 32-year-old woman, and saying her name would not be released until her next of kin were notified.

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences to the family of the woman Saturday evening, adding his "best regards to all of those injured."

Charlottesville has become a flashpoint for white nationalists following a City Council vote in February to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park formerly called Lee Park.

The park was renamed Emancipation Park in June.

News - Man charged with murder for allegedly plowing into crowd in Charlottesville following white nationalist rally

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CComments

  • BUZ

    Counter protester with fire? Really a counter protester! He had an ANTIFA hat on. Talk about onesided reporting.

    And you wonder why you get called "Fake News"

  • Corsius Atreides

    Killing a terrorist is not a crime; it is patriotism.

  • fxrsniper

    By looking below I now realize why the US IQ is no longer in the top 25 in the world any longer.

  • Brian Chesney

    Proof of white supremacist, "He is white." That's pretty much all the mainstream media needs to make this case.

  • Cory Atheist Finnie

    im sure he's a christian but how dare they call it christian terrorism .. all religion is pathetic

  • adamrussell

    Feds investigate whether suspect had help with planning

  • science_fan

    This was a young person and I believe it shows the power of the alt-right organizations on the internet who feed off people struggling to be successful. They win them over offering power and feelings of superiority that they haven't been able to connect to in life.

    Surely there are ways to prevent this.

  • Stopbanningme

    “From our plan, to ensure the safety of our citizens and property, it went extremely well.’’ -- Brian Moran, Virginia’s secretary of public safety

  • ohverify

    I noticed in some of the photos at the crash scene that this killer driver had his seat belt on! And he must've disabled the airbag in his car, because that did not inflate. Does that go to show premeditation? Yeah, perhaps he didn't intend to kill anyone per se, but what about the death occurring in the commission of another crime factor?

  • loydfair

    the alt-right , kkk , and other right-wing nut jobs , are the cancer of our society.....

  • Misty Mac

    Initially he gave his customary states' rights response. This "investigation" is nothing but a farce that will lead to nothing wasting taxpayers' money, for a dog and pony show.

  • RRbane

    I hope they lock this lowlife terrorist for the rest of his life for this heinous terrorist act. My deep sympathy to the victims families.

  • the_rat

    our president : racist in chief

  • snake

    Fields should also be charged with terrorism under the federal statute.

  • Erwin Schrodinger

    Took a quick glance at Faux News comments page... a lot of people saying 'you got what you deserved' to the anti-white nationalist protesters. That... is... sickening!

  • SpringForward

    There are more genetic differences between individuals within a race than between races. White supremacists are some of the least educated, mentally deficient people around. I'm so angry that they were able to put a fellow idiot into the WH.

  • Bill William

    I the south, where I live, white supremacy groups have existed since the Civil War. They never seem to go away and most whites, like myself, are sick and tired of dealing with them. I get sick of hearing about how 'it is not about hate, it is about heritage" or, 'It is about history and pride" or ' it is not about race it is about states rights" or "the north invaded our land, the Union Army were terrorists." I could go on and on.
    Most blacks and whites get along except for these holdouts. But, now we have outsiders coming who create the violence.

  • Amelia Parrotlet

    Hope he is prison for life.