US Attorney General: Charlottesville attack 'domestic terrorism'

By REUTERS
August 14, 2017 15:47

The man suspected of ramming a car into a crowd of protestors in Charlottesville is due to appear in court on Monday. James Alex Fields, Jr, "adored Hitler," his former teacher said.

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The former teacher of the suspected car-rammer in Charlottesville, Va. (Credit: Reuters)

The former teacher of the suspected car-rammer in Charlottesville, Va. (Credit: Reuters)

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the incident of a white supremacist ramming a car into a crowd of protestors in Charlottesville "domestic terrorism," on ABC News' "Good Morning America" Monday.

Twenty-year old James Alex Fields, Jr, of Ohio, faces second-degree murder and other charges for allegedly driving the Dodge Charger that killed Heather Heyer on Saturday. He is is due to appear in court Monday.

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Fields joined a rally for neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan, who clashed with counter-protesters.

Those who know him say his views on race and politics were clear.

"He would often say how, you know, how Hitler's views were right. what if Hitler had won. What if we had this large, white supremacist empire going into the modern world," said Derek Wiemer, who was Fields' high school social studies teacher.

"A lot of us, who, either had him or knew colleagues who had him, we understood his views. We knew, oh this kid, young kid at the time, has very, kind of white supremacist, Nazi views, he really adores Hitler, things like that."

Fields enlisted in the US Army after high school but failed out of basic training after less than four months, according to military records.

He's a registered Republican and voted in the 2016 presidential primary.

He traveled to Virginia to take part in a march organized by white nationalist groups, many of whom claim to be supporters of US President Donald Trump, to defend a statue of a Confederate civil-war hero set for removal.

Fields' alleged attack killed Heather Heyer and injured 19 others.

After the attack, he tried to flee the scene, police said.

In addition to the charges from the crash the US Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation.

It's not clear if Fields has retained a lawyer, or how he intends to plead.


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