The mother of the young man suspected of ramming his car through a crowd of protesters during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, said she thought her son was attending a Trump-related rally on Saturday.
James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was taken into custody shortly after he allegedly drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring at least 19 other people.
Fields' mother, Samantha Bloom, who was watching her son's cat at the time the incident took place, learned that her son was suspected of plowing his car into protesters only when she was approached by reporters at her home in Maumee, Ohio.
"I try to stay out of his political views. We don't — I don't really get too involved," Bloom said. "Like I said, I don't really talk to him about his political views. So I don't really understand what the rally was about."
Tanner Coleman, a former classmate of Fields', posted on his blog, describing his memories of high school with Fields.
"I do not remember a single detail of any conversation, other than thinking that he occupied the 'gentle giant,' role in my mind," Coleman wrote.
Coleman also described Fields as "kind" and "shy" but said he was often isolated and alone.
Kathy Scott, who lives in Bloom's neighborhood and said she had several interactions with the mother and son, also described Fields as "shy."
"I saw him quite a bit," Scott told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Going to the bus and using his bicycle. But he was just shy. [Bloom] was very sociable. She went to the big church down the street called Crossroads."
A federal civil rights investigation into the ramming has been launched, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the probe "will have the full support of the Department of Justice."