Watch CBS News

Driver in alleged Charlottesville car attack ID'd as James Alex Fields

Car attack suspect
Latest on suspect in Charlottesville deadly car attack 01:54

The driver who allegedly plowed into counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville has been identified as James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old Ohio man. 

Both the Charlottesville police and Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail Superintendent Col. Martin Kumer confirmed his identity.

Fields, 20, from Ohio, is facing charges of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop at the scene of an accident that resulted in a death.

James Alex Fields, 20, has been charged in the fatal car crash in Charlottesville. Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail

The deceased victim was a 32-year-old woman who was crossing the street at the time, Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said Saturday night, adding that police were still in the process of notifying the next of kin.

The FBI and the Department of Justice said Saturday night that they would be opening an investigation into the deadly crash. In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Session said "violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice."

"The FBI has been supporting state and local authorities throughout the day," Sessions said. "U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle has commenced a federal investigation and will have the full support of the Department of Justice. Justice will prevail."

Five of the injured were listed in critical condition Saturday night. Four thers were in serious condition, sixwere in fair condition, and four others were in good condition, authorities said Saturday.

Video of the incident showed a grey Dodge Challenger plowing into counter-protesters who were marching through the city's shopping district. The force of the collision hurled several people into the air. Bystanders could be seen running in every direction while others stood by screaming for help.

Footage from another angle showed the car speeding in reverse in an attempt to flee the scene.

Trump under fire for lackluster response to Charlottesville tragedy 02:24

Field's mother, Samantha Bloom, told The Associated Press on Saturday night that she knew her son was attending a rally in Virginia but didn't know it was a white supremacist rally.

"I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump's not a white supremacist," Bloom said.

"He had an African-American friend so ...," she said before her voice trailed off. She added that she'd be surprised if her son's views were that far right.

Bloom, who became visibly upset as she learned of the injuries and deaths at the rally, said she and her son had just moved to the Toledo area from the northern Kentucky city of Florence. She said that's where Fields grew up. She relocated to Ohio for work.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.