Father of Charlottesville Victim Delivers Powerful Call for Forgiveness

“People need to stop hating,” he said in a video.

A car hits a crowd of people protesting white supremacists in Charlottesville on Saturday.Ryan M. Kelly/AP

The father of the woman killed by a driver who plowed into a crowd of people protesting white supremacists in Charlottesville has a simple message: “People need to stop hating.”

Standing in front of his home in Sharpes, Florida, on Monday, Mark Heyer asked Americans to move beyond the hatred that took his daughter’s life in Charlottesville on Saturday. “And they need to forgive each other,” he told Florida Today, a local newspaper. “I include myself in that, in forgiving the guy that did this.”

“He don’t know no better,” he added. “I just think of what the Lord said on the cross. ‘Lord, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.’”

Heyer said he was proud of his 32 year-old daughter, Heather. “She had more courage than I did,” he said, appearing to hold back tears. “She had a stubborn backbone, that if she thought she was right, she would stand there and defy you.”

Heyer continued, “I hope all of this stuff that’s come out isn’t twisted into something negative. But there comes a positive change in people’s hearts. In their thinking. In their understanding of their neighbor. We just need to forgive each other.”

The video of Heyer’s comments is below.

Video by Malcolm Denemark.