Friends and family mourned Heather Heyer, 32, of Charlottesville, Va., who was killed in Saturday’s car attack after a protest involving white nationalists in the college town.
Heyer, a 2003 graduate of William Monroe High School in Stanardsville, Va., was a legal assistant at Miller Law Group in Charlottesville.
Speaking Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer said Heyer was one of three people killed Saturday, along with Virginia State Police Lt. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates. The Associated Press also identifed Heyer as the victim of in the car attack. The two troopers died hours later when a state police helicopter crashed south of Charlottesville.
"Our hearts are grieving right now," Signer said. "Three people died who didn't need to die."
Friends said Heyer was fun-loving but also outspoken about her views against racism.
“She always stands up for what she believes in, and we had spoken about mixed race couples and families,” said Lauren Moon, who has been friends with Heyer since third grade.
Moon said the bubbly paralegal was known for enjoying time with friends and recently helped another friend through a bankruptcy filing.
“She was great at handling all the legal stuff and paperwork,” Moon said. “It’s surreal. I heard the car took someone’s life, but I never could have imagined it was someone I knew and grew up with.”
A biography on the Miller Law website calls Heyer, “an irreplaceable asset to our firm” in the bankruptcy department for the last four years.
“Heather was born and raised in the beautiful state of Virginia,” the biography reads, “Originally from Ruckersville, Va., Heather now resides here in Charlottesville.”
Jess Stafford, a 2004 graduate of William Monroe said news spread quickly Saturday about Heyer’s death.
“We are all a part of a very tight knit community,” Stafford told USA TODAY. “Our entire town is mourning her loss and surrounding her family with our love and condolences.”