Family, friends remember Heather Heyer in Charlottesville

Hundreds gathered outside the theater on the Charlottesville mall to remember Heather Heyer.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WUSA9) - The memorial service for Heather Heyer was held at the Paramount Theater, just two blocks from where the 32-year-old was mowed down by a Dodge Challenger.  

Stephen Daniels saw the car seconds before it became a lethal weapon, plowing into innocent people.

Daniels says he noticed the nice grey car and decided it must be an undercover cop because of the tinted windows. Then he saw the Challenger reverse and back very quickly up the hill on 4th street. 

PREVIOUS: Mourners gather to remember woman killed at Virginia rally

"I thought for a second the cop must've gotten a call," said Daniels. 

He was dumbstruck when he saw the Challenger race forward toward people. That was the first attack. When Daniels realized the car was again revving backwards up the hill, he started to run, but saw his girlfriend standing in the path of the oncoming assault car.

"I saw his reverse lights coming back up the street full speed and I had to grab her out of the way to keep her from being back over by him," said Daniels, his voice cracking at the upsetting memory. "It's an emotional thing. Yeah, just a little bit to see bodies flying up in the air. "

Heather Heyer was killed and 19 others injured last Saturday during the KKK rally. The driver of the Challenger, James Alex Fields, 20,  is charged with murder.

Daniels came to tell his account of the Challenger backing up twice to make sure people know what happened. 

"An act of sheer murderous intent. Just cold-blooded anger and hatred. It was no accident," he said. 

Heather's name shone brightly on the marque of the paramount threaten where she was remembered.  Outside, friends and supporters also wore heather's name and  favorite color purple.  

"It's an indescribable feeling," said Star Asia who had been good friends with Heyer for the past few years. 
       
"People don't understand. This was her everyday life. This is what she believed in. This Is what she stood up for.  She could literally kill people with her words. Like, literally. She was very smart. She knew what she was talking about.  She felt very strongly about what she spoke about.  And, like her mother said, you can argue with her, be upset with her, but five minutes later, you love her," said Star Asia. 

Asia wore a t-shirt that screamed, "If you're not outraged, your not paying attention," and some took it to point blame at President Trump for his words that seemed to legitimize hate groups like the KKK.

Senator Tim Kaine who attended Heyer's service said there is an "absence of moral leadership" in the White House. Sen. Kaine said Virginia has the "scars of bigotry" and hate but that it has come so far that it won't be "dragged back" by this president.  

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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