UPDATE: Charlottesville Rally Turns Deadly: One Killed after Car Strikes Crowd
Fights erupted that injured at least eight people and a car plowed through a group of people when white nationalists and counter-protesters violently clashed Saturday, forcing Charlottesville police and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency.
UPDATE: One person died and 19 were injured after a car plowed through a crowd here on Saturday. White nationalists and counter-protesters had violently clashed earlier in the day, injuring eight and prompting Charlottesville police and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency.
Supporters gathered in Emancipation Park Saturday morning in anticipation of a noon rally held by "Unite the Right." The aim of the rally was to protest the removal of a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The park was formerly known as Lee Park.
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
Brennan Gilmore, a 37-year-old who works for a start up, shot the footage and said he heard tires squealing before he saw a gray Dodge Charger build up speed and ram the crowd. It hit a number of people before plowing into the bumper of another car.
"It was very clearly intentional," Gilmore told NBC News. "From the far end of the street it accelerated, slowed down right before the crowd and then slammed on the gas through the crowd sending bodies flying. And then it reversed back into the street dragging bodies and clothes."
The car then backed up and fled the scene.
Different groups of protesters clashed with hundreds of white nationalists, Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis throughout the day ahead of the noon rally, but they began to disperse after Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police told attendees to depart.
Police reported that eight were injured in those scuffles and one person was arrested.
The most recent incident came after torch-wielding white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia campus on Friday night.
By SARAH RANKIN
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Hundreds of people are facing off in Charlottesville ahead of a white nationalist rally planned in the Virginia city's downtown.
Rally supporters and counter-protesters screamed, chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday morning.
Men dressed in militia uniforms were carrying shields and openly carrying long guns.
Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler planned what he called a "pro-white" rally to protest Charlottesville's decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a city park. Thousands of people are expected to pack the area.
There were also fights Friday night, when hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches.
A university spokesman said one person was arrested and several people were injured.
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