Maumee man who ran car into protesters openly supported white su - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Maumee man who ran car into protesters openly supported white supremacy

(Source: New York Daily News) (Source: New York Daily News)
MAUMEE, OH (WTOL) -

More information is coming to light on the background of James Fields Jr., the Maumee man who ran his car into a group of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Fields lived in Oak Hill Apartments in Maumee with his mother, until about six months ago when he moved into his own apartment there.

Fields and his mother have only been living in Ohio for a year after moving up north from Kentucky. Fields' father died before he was born.

Former teacher Derek Weimer said the 20-year-old was a quiet and respectful kid, but was a student with extreme views who was very interested in the Neo-Nazi movement.

Weimer said his extreme views on Adolf Hitler and white supremacy were reflected in his schoolwork, and described Fields as a "very bright kid but very misguided and disillusioned."

"Whether it's about politics or history social issues, military issues was a biggie, but after you talked to him for a little while, within five minutes or so, you would start getting things that your radar would start going off," said Weimer.

Military records show that Fields entered the army in August of 2015. His period of active duty was concluded in December of that same year, less than four months after enlisting. 

It is unclear why he left the military.

Multiple news outlets report that Fields openly supported white supremacy, and took part in several rallies hours before his deadly rampage.

The Daily News photographed Fields carrying a shield with a white supremacists emblem representing the Vanguard America hate group, even though the group says Fields is not a member. The group allegedly focuses on white identity and Neo-Nazi ideology. 

Neighbors say the news about what Fields did is "strange" and "unexpected".

"I could believe someone so close, you know living so close to me, could do something so horrible as this," said neighbor Nicholas Crosby. "He was always flying in and out of this parking lot. Music loud, you know, leaving late at night."

Weimer said he knew Fields would participate in the rally, but never thought he would turn to violence.

Fields is being charged with second-degree murder, accused of killing a woman and injuring at least 19 others. Fields could also be investigated for civil rights violations.

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