Heyer "always had a very strong sense of right and wrong, she always, even as a child, was very caught up in what she believed to be fair,” says her mother, Susan Bro. “Somehow I almost feel that this is what she was born to be, is a focal point for change. I’m proud that what she was doing was peaceful, she wasn’t there fighting with people.”
“I think he’s still very young, and I’m sorry he believed that hate could fix problems. Hate only brings more hate,” Bro continues, referring to her daughter's killer. “Heather was not about hate, Heather was about stopping hatred. Heather was about bringing an end to injustice. “I don’t want her death to be a focus for more hatred, I want her death to be a rallying cry for justice and equality and fairness and compassion. I’m very sorry that [Fields] chose that path because he has now ruined his life as well as robbed a great many of us of someone we love very much.”
Heyer's death was widely mourned across social media.
Friends who started a GoFundMe page for Heyer's family said she “was murdered while protesting hate.”
In a statement, the City of Charlottesville condemned Heyer's death as a "senseless act of violence" which took place as Heyer was "exercising her peaceful first amendment right to free speech." The city government also sent its condolences to the families of Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Pilot Berke M. M. Bates, who died in a helicopter crash near Charlottesville.
"The Bell 407 helicopter was assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation in Charlottesville," said Susan Rowland, Virginia State Police Public Relations Coordinator, who confirmed that the two men died at the scene after the helicopter crashed into a wooded area near a home just before 5 PM.