The highly publicized “Unite the Right” rally, organized by white nationalists, in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday turned deadly after a driver appears to have intentionally driven a car into a group of counter-protesters. AP reported Saturday afternoon that a hospital official said that one person had died and 19 are injured as a result of the tragic incident.
Video of the horrific incident shows a Dodge Charger appearing to accelerate into a crowd of counter-protesters. One witness who posted a video on Twitter describes the victims as “anti-racist protesters”:
“A counter protester had allegedly thrown a rock at the car, causing the driver to swivel around and ram into people and cars in its way, before driving off with someone’s shoe attached to its bumper,” the Daily Mail reports.
One witness told reporters that the Challenger was going around 40 MPH and said the act was definitely intentional:
According to officials, at least one person is dead and 19 injured, and a total of three vehicles were involved. The Challenger (pictured below) was finally stopped by police several blocks away.
AP reports that the driver of the Challenger is in custody. “Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran said the driver, a man, has been arrested,” AP reports. “Moran did not immediately provide a name of the driver.”
The deadly act was not the only violence that occurred at the event, with groups of white nationalist rallyers and “anti-fascist” counter-protesters clashing, resulting in at least eight people having to be treated for injuries.
Some of the far-right were wearing militia-style uniforms and chanting “Blood and Soil,” as the converged on the event in Emancipation Park, reports the Daily Mail, while the counter-protesters were heard chanting, “We’re here, we’re gay, we fight the KKK!”
State police moved in quickly to attempt to disperse crowds, including through the use of tear gas, but the fighting continued. Multiple arrests were made though details have yet to be provided by authorities.
President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have both responded to the violence. “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!” tweeted Trump.
Sessions issued a statement likewise condemning the violence:
I have been in contact with our Department of Justice agents assisting at the scene and state officials. We will continue to support our state and local officers on the ground in any way possible. We stand united behind the president in condemning the violence in Charlottesville and any message of hate and intolerance. This kind of violence is totally contrary to American values and can never be tolerated. I want to thank all law enforcement personnel in the area for their commitment to protecting this community and the rule of law.
First Lady Melania Trump also took to Twitter in response, tweeting, “Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence.”
In response to outbreak of violence, Virginia has declared a state of emergency.
More images and footage of the chaotic situation below:
Footage taken Friday night of the rallyers marching toward the University of Virginia campus chanting, “One people, one nation, end immigration” and “blood and soil”:
Via Daily Wire