Update: 4:01 p.m. EDT — Hospital says 19 people were injured after car crash
A driver used a vehicle to plow through a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday after police shut down a white nationalist rally. Authorities confirmed to CBS News at least four people were hurt from the crash, suffering from injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said on Twitter that at least one person had been fatally injured from the vehicle attack.
Police have not released the name of the person responsible for the crash nor have authorities confirmed if the suspect has been apprehended. However, a number reporters and witnesses on the scene said on Twitter that the victim, who was driving a Dodge Charger, has been arrested. It is unclear if the driver was affiliated with white nationalists protesters or counter-protesters at this time.
The heavy person who is being given CPR in my vid was apparently a woman (I said on camera it was a man). I saw 9 people on the ground total
White nationalists gathered in Charlottesville for the “Unite the Right” protest aimed at stopping the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which city council voted to remove from a park formerly named after the Confederate leader in April.
The rally was initially supposed to start at noon on Saturday. However, after a number of fights broke out in the early morning, the city declared a state of emergency ordering police to shut down the rally. Virginia’s Governor Terry issued a declaration of his own shortly authorities ended the rally.
“I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours,” McAuliffe said in a statement.
Signer shared in the governor’s sentiments, urging counter-protesters and white nationalists to stop the violence and go home.
“I am furious & heartsick by the car crash that has injured many. Please all-go home to your families. We can work tomorrow. GO HOME! PLEASE!” he wrote on Twitter.
The crash sparked immediate outrage on social media with an outpour of people calling the accident an act of terrorism, comparing the instance to similar car-plowing accidents that have taken place in London in 2017 and in Nice, France in 2016.
Hours after violence between counter-protesters and white nationalists ensued, President Donald Trump released an official statement on Twitter, writing: “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”
See some of the reactions to the violence in Charlottesville below:
1. Weak police presence in comparison to #BLM protest.
2. Blatant Terrorist attack against Americans being called an incident
How is the kkk Plowing through a crowd of protesters not considered a terrorist attack? Asking for a friend #charlottesville
Those bodies flying don’t look like “protesters” so I think it’s safe to say they were “counter-protesters” https://twitter.com/newsroomjake/status/896446861313273856 …