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Friend of Charlottesville victim: "Heather didn't deserve this"

Charlottesville victims speak
Friend of Charlottesville victim says Heather Heyer "died for peace" 03:57

Mourners gathered at a vigil Sunday night in Charlottesville, Virginia, following a weekend of violence that left one woman dead. Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old, was killed when a vehicle slammed into counter-protesters after a demonstration by white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members. Nineteen people were hospitalized.

Heather Heyer Gov. Terry McAuliffe/Twitter

The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., was charged with second-degree murder.

Marcus Martin, who was injured, said their counter-protest Saturday was peaceful.

"Why did you initially come here yesterday?" CBS News correspondent David Begnaud asked him.

"To stand up for what I believed in. To acknowledge what's right is what's right, and what's wrong was wrong," Martin said.

Marcus Martin CBS News

His fiancé, Marissa Blair, even broadcast it live on Facebook before the chaos.

Fields, an alleged white supremacist, apparently smashed his Dodge Challenger into the counter protesters.

A photo captured the moment Martin was tossed. 

A car plows into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017. Ryan M. Kelly, The Daily Progress

"I could have been dead right now instead of having this conversation with you," Martin said.

Martin broke his leg and will need surgery. His shoe was seen flying off the suspect's car as it sped off. His fiancé escaped serious injury because Martin pushed her away.

"This should never happen," Blair said in tears. "How can someone have so much hate in their heart?"

Heyer, who was killed, was their friend and Blair's coworker at a Charlottesville law firm.

"She died for peace. She died for equality. She died because she believed that everyone should get along," Blair said.

Marissa Blair CBS News

Heyer's friends honored her by wearing purple shirts with a quote from her last public Facebook post: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

Even after police told demonstrators to leave, men waving Confederate and neo-Nazi flags and armed with shields and clubs clashed with angry counter protesters.

Jason Kessler, who organized the "Unite the Right" rally, said police didn't protect their First Amendment rights and blamed them for the violence.

"What happened yesterday was a result of the Charlottesville police officers' refusing to do their job," Kessler said.

Kessler's press conference ended suddenly when he was swarmed at the podium and punched. He was also chased into nearby bushes, where he was tackled by a young woman. Kessler was forced to flee behind a barricade of officers in tactical gear.

At the vigil for Heyer, Martin vowed to fight for justice.

"Her mother can't talk to her daughter. She can't hug her. Her mother has to bury her daughter. … Heather didn't deserve this. Heather died for standing in what she believed in," Martin said.

Kessler had a permit from the city and the demonstrators had a legal right to assemble. Still, the police have been criticized for not doing enough sooner. The Charlottesville police chief has pushed back on that, telling CBS News his officers, along with National Guardsmen, were trying to get people to disperse. They answered about 250 calls for help.

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