The world is paying close attention to the hate-filled, violent circumstances around the events in Charlottesville this weekend. One of the most harrowing and deadly was the attack by a white supremacist who mowed down a crowd of counter protesters with his automobile — turning an everyday car into a weapon of mass destruction, much like other terrorists have been doing in recent months around the world. One woman was killed and 19 other people were injured in the brutal attack.
It’s not difficult to get overwhelmed by grand-scale emotions, outrage, sorrow, and fear in situations such as this. It’s also easy to overlook the individuals whose lives are forever effected by such violent acts. One such case is that of Marcus Martin and Marissa Blair, two counter protestors who nearly lost their lives.
As Blair recounted to the Daily Mail, Martin and Blair were also close friends with Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed by the attacker in an act many government and law enforcement officials (not including the president of the United States) are calling domestic terrorism. Martin is the man seen in the photos splashed across news outlets everywhere, caught in midair as the attacker’s car rams into the crowd.
Blair describes their experience for the Mail: “We were right at the intersection, deciding to go right or left. We went left … We hear a commotion from the top of the street. It happened so fast. I felt myself shoved out of the way. [Martin] had pushed me out of the way.”
Martin saved his fianceé’s life by pushing her out of the way of the oncoming car, but their friend Heyer was killed. The three had traveled together from Lovingston, Va. — about 50 miles away from Charlottesville.
While Martin heroically saved Blair’s life, he reportedly suffered a broken leg. Blair described the outcome to in a comment to a friend on Facebook: “We’re okay. Marcus broke his leg. He pushed me out of the way. We lost a good friend today. Please keep her family in your prayers…”
“I’m still numb,” Blair told the Mail. “My friend is dead. Heather was with us because this is what Heather believed in. She died standing up for what she believed in.”
A 20-year-old from Ohio named James Alex Fields is being charged with committing the crime. He remains in custody and is reportedly being charged with 2nd-degree murder, among other crimes.
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