An Ohio man is accused of driving a car into a crowd of people protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., murdering a 32-year-old woman and injuring 19 others, police said late Saturday.
James Alex Fields Jr., 20, was booked into the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail on one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and a single count of failing to stop in an accident which led to a death.
Col. Martin Kumer, the jail’s superintendent, told the Associated Press that he doesn’t believe Fields has got an attorney yet.
Kumer added that a bond hearing is scheduled for Monday.
The Washington Post reported that the silver 2010 Dodge Challenger involved in the crash was registered to Fields.
In addition, photographs shot of the automobile as it barreled toward the crowd of protesters demonstrate it bearing an Ohio license plate number, GVF 1111. The Post also reported that Fields’ last known address was in Maumee, a suburb of Toledo. WHIO-TV reported that the Ohio county code on the license plate corresponded to Lucas County, where Maumee is situated.
Field’s mother, Samantha Bloom, told The Associated Press on Saturday night that she understood her son was attending a rally in Virginia but did not understand it was a white supremacist rally.
“I believed it had something to do with Trump. Trump’s not a white supremacist,” Bloom said.
“He had an African American friend so …,” she said before her voice trailed off. She added that she’d be surprised if her son’s views were that far perfect.
Bloom, that became visibly upset as she heard of the injuries and deaths in the rally, said she and her son had only moved to the Toledo region from the northern Kentucky town of Florence. She said that’s where Fields climbed up. She jumped to Ohio to get work.
The crash climaxed a day of violence at the college town that was sparked by the arrival of hundreds of white nationalists protesting plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee by a public playground.
Matt Korbon, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, said a few hundred counter-protesters were marching by way of a pedestrian mall downtown when “suddenly there was only this tire screeching sound.” He said the Dodge Challenger smashed into another car, then backed up, barreling through “a sea of people.”
The crash sparked calls from many Republican lawmakers to get a national investigation of what they described as a domestic terror attack. But, federal law enforcement officials told Fox News that they were not yet responding because it was not clear the situation rose to this level.
The officials said that in case it becomes clear the protesters were targeted because of their political beliefs or minority status, the Bureau could become involved.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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