In 2013, Richard Preston, the imperial wizard of the Confederate White Knights of Rosedale (Baltimore County), Maryland, told his neighbors at a meeting to "trust him."
On Saturday, police arrested Preston after they said he fired a gun into the crowd at the white supremacist rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Charlottesville police identified Preston, 52, as the man seen in a video published by the ACLU of Virginia, in which a man walking among protesters and counter-protesters at the city's Emancipation Park draws a pistol and fires.
WATCH: Man fired at another person in Charlottesville on Aug. 12. We handed 📹 to LE agencies. The man has been arrested & charged w a crime. pic.twitter.com/0vrXq4zNC0— ACLU of Virginia (@ACLUVA) August 26, 2017
Preston is one of a few men arrested at the "Unite the Right" rally that resulted in violent clashes between white supremacists and counter protesters and the death of a 32-year-old woman in what officials called a terrorist attack.
Charlottesville police said 18-year-old Daniel Patrick Borden was charged with malicious wounding and is in custody in Cincinnati, according to The Baltimore Sun. Alex Michael Ramos, whose last known address was in Georgia, was also charged with malicious wounding.
The protests, in which dozens were injured, were sparked by the proposed removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general.
Police have been criticized by both sides for not intervening more, including when Preston allegedly discharged his weapon. In the ACLU's video, viewers observed officers in neon uniforms standing within yards — and possibly within earshot — of the gunshot, but they don't appear to respond.
At a meeting in the Cecil County Administration building in December 2013, Preston told the 50 people in attendance that the Ku Klux Klan doesn't have a problem with people of other colors. His group just wants to take back their country, he said.
"If we don't stop Barack Obama, if we don't stop this government all together that is running us into the ground, working us like dogs, so that they can keep taking it and giving it to somebody else, we're not going to have a country," said Preston.
Kalil Zaky, an African American, asked Preston at the meeting how the Klan was not considered a hate group based on its history.
Preston said the Klan was not a hate group, adding others have labeled it as such. Preston did say there were things done during the Civil Rights era that were wrong, but they are no longer this group.
"We can only ask you to trust us," Preston told him. Zaky, who left before the nearly two-hour meeting ended, was not convinced.
According to the footage captured by the ACLU of Virginia and shared via its Twitter account, Preston, sporting tactical gear, a gun and a bandanna, appears to yell, "Hey, (N-word)!", before shooting.
He now faces a charge of discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, according to CNN, a felony that could lead to 10 years in prison.
In an interview with an Indiana television station two days after the Charlottesville rally, Preston blamed local government for the violence that broke out there.
“They’re being told not to do their job by the mayor,” Preston said about the police at the rally. “That mayor is now responsible for everything that took place. Every person that was hurt. Every person that died. All of it.”
Preston was being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center after his arrest in Maryland, the Baltimore Sun reported, following a fugitive warrant issued in Virginia.
Preston apparently worked as a maintenance man at an all-girls school in Baltimore from 1996 to 2001, according to the Sun. On Sunday, the Bryn Mawr School issued a comment condemning Preston's alleged ties and actions as "hatred" and "racism."
The ACLU handed its footage of the Charlottesville incident to the FBI on Aug. 17, distributing it to state and local authorities in the days later, the newspaper reported.
Attempts by news organizations to reach Preston on Sunday proved unsuccessful.
News Journal reporters Esteban Parra and Christina Jedra and USA Today reporter Josh Hafner contributed to this report.
© Gannett Co., Inc. 2018. All Rights Reserved