- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The mother of the 32-year-old woman who was killed Saturday in a car-ramming attack during violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, has thanked President Trump for offering words of comfort and condemning the violence.

“Thank you, President Trump, for those words of comfort and for denouncing those who promote violence and hatred,” Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, said in a statement shortly after Mr. Trump belatedly called out white supremacists and other hate groups during a press conference Monday afternoon.

“My condolences, also, to the grieving families of the two state troopers and quick recovery for those injured,” Ms. Bro said.

Heyer died and more than a dozen were injured after a 2010 Dodge Challenger driven by James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old reported Nazi sympathizer from Maumee, Ohio, plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters during clashes with white supremacist groups in Charlottesville. Mr. Fields is charged with second-degree murder and is being investigated by the FBI and Department of Justice. Two Virginia State Police troopers were also killed in a helicopter crash near the protests.

During an appearance Monday night on CNN, Ms. Bro addressed Mr. Fields directly.

“This wasn’t a video game, buddy,” she said. “This was real people. There are real consequences to what you did, and I’m sorry you chose to do that. You have ruined your life. You’ve disturbed mine. You took my child from me, and I’m going to be the voice she can no longer be.”

The slain woman’s father, Mark Heyer, said activism was a big part of his daughter’s life.

“She was a strong woman who had passionate opinions about the equality of everyone, and she tried to stand up for that,” Mr. Heyertold Florida Today. “With her, it wasn’t lip service. It was real, you know. It was something that she wanted to share with everyone.”

Mr. Heyer said he hopes his daughter’s death wasn’t in vain, and that people can learn to forgive one another.

“I include myself in that in forgiving the guy who did this,” he said. “I just think about what the Lord said on the cross, ‘Forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.’”


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