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'Heather died because of white supremacy': Vigil held at spot of Saturday’s killing
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'Heather died because of white supremacy': Vigil held at spot of Saturday’s killing

Hundreds of people gathered throughout the evening Sunday at the intersection of Fourth Street and Water Street to reflect on what happened Saturday and the lives that were lost.

The vigil came a day for the history books, as thousands of people descended on Charlottesville on Saturday to attend or protest the white nationalist Unite the Right rally.

Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 19 people were injured after a driver sped into a crowd of counter-protesters at Fourth and Water streets mid-afternoon Saturday.

About two hours after the car crash, two state troopers, Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, were killed when their police helicopter crashed and burned near Old Farm Road. The helicopter was involved in providing rally surveillance and information during the day.

“Heather died because of white terrorism,” Brittany Caine-Conley, an organizer with Congregate C’ville, told Sunday’s gathering. “Heather died because of white supremacy.”

Many at the vigil were quiet, leaving flowers, candles and writing messages in chalk. The group sang together and had moments of silence for Heyer, Cullen and Bates.

Marcus Martin, who broke his leg Saturday when he was hit by and flew over the vehicle, called for the those who got the Unite the Right permit approved to be held accountable for the injuries.

“The person that made the decision to allow them to come here, they need to be held accountable for it,” he said. “That woman can’t even call her daughter no more.”

“Like me yesterday, my leg’s broke,” Martin said. “I can’t work. All because you made a decision to allow this to come, knowing the outcome of it. You know what they stood for. You knew exactly what it was.”

Marissa Blair, Heyer’s coworker at the Miller Law Group, was pushed out of the way of the car on Saturday by Martin, her fiancé.

“We just need to spread love all day, every day, and not just when something like this happens, when a tragedy happens,” Blair said. “Now, everyone wants to get together and rally and be there. And we’re going to be there for Heather, but Heather would want us to be there all the time, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Blair said the crash shouldn’t have happened.

James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio, has been charged with second-degree murder, among other charges. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

“We weren’t wrong for being out there; he was wrong for driving his car through a crowd of peaceful protesters,” Blair said. “He deserves everything he gets and more …”

Allison Wrabel is a reporter for The Daily Progress. Contact her at (434) 978-7261, awrabel@dailyprogress.com or @craftypanda on Twitter.

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