CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — At least three people are dead and 19 are injured in the wake of violent protests that rocked Charlottesville, Va. Saturday.
A car plowed into a crowd in the early afternoon during clashes between white supremacists, Black Lives Matter, Antifa and other groups. Shortly before 5 p.m., a police helicopter went down in nearby Ivy, Va., killing two.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer announced that at least one person died as a result of the vehicle incident, and the Associated Press reported 19 injured. Numerous eyewitnesses alleged to The Daily Caller News Foundation that the vehicle was driven by a member of the white supremacist movement, but the driver’s identity has not yet been confirmed.
“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” the mayor said via Twitter. “I urge people of good will — go home.”
I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will–go home.
— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 12, 2017
White supremacists and white nationalists were in the sleepy college town Saturday for a “Unite the Right” rally. The group met at Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, where they were met by thousands of counter-protesters.
The scene quickly descended into chaos as the two camps traded blows. The white supremacists and counter-protesters hurled projectiles at one another, including concrete blocks, paint and cans. Chemical agents were also dispersed, sometimes from unknown parties.
Before the planned rally could officially commence at noon, Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency. Police ordered the park to be vacated, ruling the planned gathering of white supremacists an “unlawful gathering.”
The groups obeyed the police order, for the most part, when attacks by both camps continued as members made their way away from the park.
About an hour after the gathering at the park dispersed, reports came in that a vehicle had plowed through a group of people in a busy section of downtown Charlottesville.
Later in the evening, police said that the driver was in custody, where he is likely to face vehicular homicide charges.
Police remained in a high state of alert into the evening.
Brenton Roy contributed to this report.
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