CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The leader of a North Carolina based group associated with the Ku Klux Klan says he is glad that a woman died while taking part in a protest in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend.
Heather Heyer was killed when James Allen Fields Jr. allegedly drove a car into a crowd of protesters at high speed, then fled the scene by backing up. Nineteen other people were injured.
Fields was among a group of white nationalists protesting the removal of a Confederate statue in a Charlottesville, VA, park. Heyer was among the large number of counter-protesters last Saturday.
Monday night, Justin Moore - the Grand Dragon for the Loyal White Knights of Ku Klux Klan, said he was glad Heyer died in the attack.
"I'm sorta glad that them people got hit and I'm glad that girl died," Moore said in a voicemail to WBTV's Steve Crump. "They were a bunch of Communists out there protesting against somebody's freedom of speech, so it doesn't bother me that they got hurt at all."
"I think we're going to see more stuff like this happening at white nationalist events," Moore warned.
The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is based in Pelham, NC. Members of the group were in Charlottesville as a part of the demonstration.
"We were out there and I seen a lot of communist flags and anti-fascist and we're going to see more stuff like this," Moore said. "White people are getting fed up with the double standard setup in America today by the controlled press."
"We should have been able to go out there and have our protest and it should have been peaceful but it's the anti-fascist and the communists [...] continuing to try and stop us," he continued. "So I think there will be more violence like this in the future to come."
Tuesday afternoon, Moore along with Imperial Wizard Chris Barker and Amanda Baker gave an on-camera interview to WBTV.
"When a couple of them die, it doesn't bother us," Imperial Wizard Barker said. "They're always attacking and messing with our rallies."
Barker blamed a lack of security at the protest for creating the issue.
"They should have never the anti-facist...that's like putting the Klan and the Black Panthers in a room together," Chris Barker said. "We're gonna try to kill each other. The police should have known the anti-fascist is the sworn enemy of any white separatist."
Amanda Barker added that she "hates what happened in Charlottesville, with the hitting and people attacking people."
But group praises Fields in a recorded message that plays when you call the group's headquarters.
"Nothing makes us more proud at the KKK than we see white patriots such as James Fields Jr, age 20, taking his car and running over nine communist anti-fascist, killing one [expletive]-lover named Heather Heyer," the recorded message says. "James Fields hail victory. It's men like you that have made the great white race strong and will be strong again."
Meanwhile, Heyer's father says he has forgiven the man charged with her death.
"She was a strong woman who had passionate opinions about the equality of everyone, and she tried to stand up for that," her father, Mark Heyer said. "With her, it wasn't lip service, it was real. It was something she wanted to share with everyone."
Heyer said the lesson of the tragedy in Charlottesville is that people on all sides need to learn to forgive each other.
"I include myself in forgiving the guy who did this," he said. "I just think about what the Lord said on the cross, 'Forgive them, they don't know what they're doing.'"
Moore took aim at protesters who are pulling down Confederate statues and memorials, including one in Durham which was knocked down Monday night.
"They tied a rope around a Confederate statue and pulled it over, and nobody's arrested," Moore said. "I guarantee you if I go down and tie a rope around a Martin Luther King statue and yank that dude over - I'm going to jail for that."
Governor Roy Cooper said Tuesday it's time for Confederate statues to come down across North Carolina and outlined a plan for their removal.