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People fly into the air as car drives into counter-demonstrators protesting the white nationalist rally. Photo by Ryan Kelly of The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress, via AP

James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old man, was identified as the driver who plowed his car into protesters yesterday during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, per NYT. He was charged with second-degree murder.

  • He was in the military. "Military records show that Mr. Fields entered the Army on Aug. 18, 2015 ... Less than four months later, on Dec. 11, his period of active duty concluded. It was not immediately clear why he left the military."
  • He lived with his mother until recently.
  • Potential ties to Vanguard America, "a group whose manifesto declares that 'a government based in the natural law must not cater to the false notion of equality.' The organization denied any ties to him."
  • A middle school classmate "suggested that his interest in far-right ideologies dated back years. 'On many occasions there were times he would scream obscenities, whether it be about Hitler or racial slurs.'"

Go deeper

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.