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Ted Cruz asks Justice Department to investigate Charlottesville crash as domestic terrorism

081217-Feldscher Cruz cville photo
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and other senators, gather for final votes on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. After the GOP health care bill collapsed last week due to opposition within Republican ranks, the Senate worked in rapid succession this week as the chamber confirmed a new FBI director, sent President Donald Trump a key veterans health bill, and cleared a batch of lower profile nominations that have been bottled up by Democrats. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz wants the Department of Justice to investigate Saturday's attack that killed one woman in Charlottesville, Va. as an incident of domestic terrorism.

In a statement released Saturday night, Cruz called the incident "tragic and heartbreaking" and said the Justice Department must be involved immediately.

"The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil, and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred that they propagate," Cruz said in a statement.

"Having watched the horrifying video of the car deliberately crashing into a crowd of protesters, I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute this grotesque act domestic terrorism."

James Fields, 20 of Maumee, Ohio, is being held in a local jail on charges related to the incident. Those charges include second-degree murder.

A 32-year-old woman was killed in the crash, which took place after police broke up the white supremacist rally Saturday morning.

The woman and other leftist protesters were milling about a downtown street in Charlottesville blocking traffic when a man police identified as Fields drove his silver Dodge Charger into the crowd.

The Charger collided with one vehicle that then slammed into another vehicle. The street was filled with pedestrians, 19 of whom were treated for injuries that ranged from minor to life threatening.

Police have not released the identity of the 32-year-old woman killed in the incident.

Cruz said his prayers are with her family and the family of two people killed when a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed following the rally.

"These bigots want to tear our country apart, but they will fail," Cruz said. "America is far better than this. Our nation was built on fundamental truths, none more central than the proposition ‘that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'"