Heather Heyer's parents preach love, action after daughter’s death: 'You just magnified her'

Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 1:02 PM

Heather Heyer's Parents At Memorial Service

The parents of Heather Heyer, the woman killed Saturday in a protest against white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia, remembered the 32-year-old as a big-hearted, outspoken woman who wanted equality for all.

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About 1,000 mourners gathered Wednesday for Heyer’s memorial in downtown Charlottesville, the same city where police said Heyer was killed while protesting what was believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade.

Heyer’s death sparked outrage across the nation and reinvigorated the debate over race relations in America.

>> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville

“I think the reason that what happened to Heather has struck a chord is because we know that what she did is achievable,” Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, said at Wednesday’s memorial service. “We don’t all have to die. We don’t all have to sacrifice our lives. They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her.”

Since her daughter’s death, Bro said she’s received an outpouring of support from people wondering how to help the grieving family. She suggested that anyone wishing to help should follow Heyer’s example.

“I want this to spread. I don’t want this to die,” Bro said. “This is not the end of Heather’s legacy. You need to find in your heart that small spark of accountability. What is there that I can do to make the world a better place? What injustice do I see?”

Heather Heyer’s father, Mark Heyer, remembered his daughter in an emotional speech to mourners as a passionate woman who always spoke her mind.

>> Related: Who is James Alex Fields Jr., suspect in deadly Charlottesville car attack?

“She wanted equality. And in this issue, on the day of her passing, she wanted to put down hate,” he said. “And for my part – we just need to stop all this stuff and just forgive each other. I think that’s what the Lord would want us to do. Just to stop -- just love one another.”

He said he was particularly struck by the diversity of the group gathered to mourn his daughter.

“I was overwhelmed at the rainbow of colors in this room. That’s how Heather was. It didn’t matter who you were or where you were from, if she loved you that was it – you were stuck,” he said with a shaky laugh.

Police said Heyer was killed Saturday when 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, slammed a car into two vehicles and protesters in Charlottesville.

>> Related: Father of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer says he forgives James Fields

Fields was described by his former high school teacher as a Nazi sympathizer. He traveled to Charlottesville to participate in the Unite the Right rally, a demonstration organized by white supremacists to oppose the removal of a Confederate memorial from Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park.

Mark Heyer said shortly after his daughter’s death that he forgave Fields, because “as far as I’m concerned, he was deceived by the devil.”

“My daughter was fighting for equal rights, demonstrating against hatred and doing what she thought was right,” Mark Heyer told the New York Post on Sunday. “I can’t hate the man who did this to her because that would make me as bad as the people who did this.”

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2-year-old pelted 9 times with paintball, mother says

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:08 AM

Keon Jaquez Broughton. (Photo: WSOCTV.com)
Keon Jaquez Broughton. (Photo: WSOCTV.com)

A mother said her 2-year-old was pelted nine times with paintballs while they were outside their west Charlotte home.

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The 2-year-old had marks all over her body after someone shot paint at her.

Paintball wars have been gaining national traction since the beginning of the year.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said it has received more than 150 calls since the beginning of the year involving complaints about paintball gun.

The mother, who didn’t want to be identified, said it was a traumatizing moment for her and her daughter.

"She was screaming so bad. She said, 'Mommy, help me. Mommy, help me,’” she said. “That killed me. When I saw her with paint all over her shirt and her pants, my heart dropped."

The mother said she found welts on her daughter’s chest, back, knees and legs.

The mother told Channel 9 that a group of men were shooting each other on her property earlier this past week.

“I heard one of them say that's their way to, instead of attacking themselves with guns, they're going to do it like that because that's how they get the anger out of them,” the mother said.

The mother said she's not against people using paintball guns to settle their differences, but it shouldn’t jeopardize anyone else's safety.

She filed a police report and days later, she said her car was hit twice with paintballs.

The police department investigated the incident and arrested 17-year-old Keon Jaquez Broughton, who is facing charges for causing a disturbance, assaulting a child and resisting an officer.

The number of complaints the police department has received involving paintball guns is growing.

Meanwhile, local paintball gun stores are seeing a rise in sales.

David Veldof, who owns a paintball gun store, believes some people are having a good time at the wrong place.

He's educating customers on smarter options, including regulated fields.

"Over the past three to four weeks, we've had a substantial increase in sales,” Veldof said. "And believe it or not, a lot of people have been going to these fields and staying off these streets."

The mother said her 2-year-old has been seeing a counselor to get over the fear of being outside she developed since the paintball incident.

The mother hopes a city ordinance is created to help curb the paintball incidents.

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Waffle House shooting: 4 dead after nude gunman opens fire in Tennessee; victims identified

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 8:12 AM
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 7:48 PM

Police: 4 Dead After Waffle House Shooting by Nude Gunman

At least four people are dead after a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee.

Killed were Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, a Waffle House employee who was outside the restaurant when the gunman opened fire; Joe R. Perez, 20, of Nashville, who was a patron standing outside the restaurant; Akilah Dasilva, 23, of Antioch, who was wounded inside the restaurant and died at Vanderbilt University Medial Center; and DeEbony Groves, 21, of Gallatin, a senior at Belmont University in Nashville. 

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Loyal dog stays with lost 3-year-old overnight, police say

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 11:38 PM

Max, a 17-year-old blue heeler that is deaf and partially blind, stayed with a lost 3-year-old girl until she was found. (Photo: Queensland Police)
Max, a 17-year-old blue heeler that is deaf and partially blind, stayed with a lost 3-year-old girl until she was found. (Photo: Queensland Police)

A family’s loyal dog stayed with a lost 3-year-old girl until search crews found them Saturday, according to police.

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Max, a 17-year-old blue heeler that is deaf and partially blind, walked off with the girl Friday afternoon. He stayed with her through the cold, rainy night until they were located about 15 hours later, more than a mile from home, on a remote part of the family’s property, according to ABC News.

"The area around the house is quite mountainous and is very inhospitable terrain to go walking in, so she'd traveled quite a distance with her dog that was quite loyal to her," Ian Phipps, an area controller with the State Emergency Service, told ABC News

The girl’s grandmother, Leisa Marie Bennett, faintly heard the child’s voice. She first found Max, who led her to the girl, who had minor cuts and bruises.

“When I heard her yell 'Grammy' I knew it was her," she told ABC News. "I shot up the mountain, and when I got to the top, the dog came to me and led me straight to her. He never left her sight. She smelled of dog. She slept with the dog. It could have gone any of 100 ways, but she's here. She's alive. She's well and it's a great outcome for our family."

For his efforts, Max was named an honorary police dog.

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Lyrid meteor shower 2018: 8 stunning photos of the celestial display

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 8:25 AM

The milky way and traces of meteors illuminate the sky over Burg on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn, northern Germany, Friday, April 20, 2018, during the Lyrid meteor shower. (Daniel Reinhardt/dpa via AP)
Daniel Reinhardt/AP
The milky way and traces of meteors illuminate the sky over Burg on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn, northern Germany, Friday, April 20, 2018, during the Lyrid meteor shower. (Daniel Reinhardt/dpa via AP)(Daniel Reinhardt/AP)

This year's Lyrid meteor shower reached its peak this weekend, and photographers flocked to social media to share some stunning snapshots of the celestial display.

See the images below:

>> MORE: Lyrid meteor shower 2018: When, where and how to watch | More trending news 

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