7 Troubling Facts About James Alex Fields Jr., The Man Arrested For Murder After Driving His Car Into Charlottesville Protesters

Photo: Facebook
James Alex Fields
Buzz

He killed one woman and injured at least 19 other people.

When a large group of white nationalists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia Aug. 12 to protest against the removal of a statue of a general who had fought for pro-slavery during the US Civil War, they were met by a counter protest. 

The Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, and other white supremacy organizations, came together as one for the "alt-right" movement, a group of people in favor of white nationalism, and violence between the two protests quickly ensued. It became deadly when a Dodge Challenger plowed into a crowd of the counter-protest at a high-rate of speed, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 other people. 

You can see a video of the crash below. Warning, it is graphic. 

The hospital reported the following day that 10 of the people in the accident were in good condition and nine had been discharged. Police arrested 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., shortly after the crash. He's being charged with second-degree murder, malicious wounding, and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death.

In his first court appearance, he was denied bail and did not enter a plea. He told the judge he makes $600 a week working for a private security company and could not afford a lawyer. His next court appearance is Aug. 25. 

Here's what we know about Fields: 

1. He was known as a quiet kid. 

Twitter

The Kentucky native was living with his mother in Ohio where his neighbors believed him to be a quiet man who "kept to himself a lot." He moved into his own apartment about five months ago. 

His aunt also said that she remembers her nephew as a quiet kid, and a family friend said he had trouble making friends. She remained anonymous because she feared for her safety. 

“She had struggled with him during his teen years but he came around towards the end of school,” she said, adding, “She was always trying to do the best for her son.”

2. His mother knew he was going to the rally but was unaware of his political views. 

In an interview with The Associated Press — where it seemed like she wasn't even aware of what her son had done — his mother, Samantha Bloom, said she knew her son was going to a rally, but thought it had something to do with Donald Trump. When she was told it was a white supremacist rally, she said: "He had an African American friend."

Bloom is a paraplegic who raised Fields as a single parent after his dad was killed by a drunk driver shortly after he was born.

According to an uncle who wished to remain anonymous, Fields' father left him money to have when he turned 18. He believed his nephew to be subdued and unfriendly.

"When he turned 18, he demanded his money, and that was the last I had any contact with him.” 

3. In school, a teacher said Fields was interested in the Nazis. 

Twitter

Derek Weimer, one of Field's former high school teachers, said the 20-year-old was a bright kid, but "very misguided and disillusioned." According to Weimer, when Fields was a freshman, he wrote a report for a different class that was "very much along the party lines of the neo-Nazi movements". 

“A lot of boys get interested in the Germans and Nazis because they’re interested in World War II,” he said. “But James took it to another level.”

4. He was briefly in the Army. 

Fields was briefly listed on active duty status with the Army for almost four months in 2015. His mother wrote a post on Facebook about her being happy that her son was leaving for boot camp. It's unclear why he left the military so soon. 

5. Police believe the crash was premeditated and many are calling it an act of domestic terrorism. 

In a press conference, the police chief said they believed the crash was "premeditated violence." Some politicians and officials are urging that the incident be investigated as an act of domestic terrorism, and the FB announced it was opening a civil rights investigation into the crash.

Because of the rally's violence, the governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency.

6. He might be linked to a controversial Facebook page. 

Heavy

The now-deleted "Conscious Ovis Aries" Facebook page shared photos of Donald Trump's campaign slogan, Adolf Hitler's baby photos, and posted references to Nazis and white supremacy symbology. People believe this page belonged to Fields because the URL is "James.Fields.9279." 

The page also matches some details of Fields' life, like where he was living at certain times and places he's visited. There's also a photo of a man who looks similar to Fields posing next to a car that looks similar to the one involved in the crash. 

7. He was accused of abusing his mother. 

Police records show that in 2011 his mother called the police and said that Fields wielded a 12-inch knife at her. In 2010, she reported that he smacked her in the head and locked her in the bathroom after she told him he had to stop playing video games. He would have been about 13 years old at the time. 

Bloom told officers at the time that Fields was on medication to control his temper. 

Author
Editor