Multiple reports from Charlottesville indicate a car drove into a crowd of protestors and then drove off. At least nineteen people are injured, some seriously. There is no confirmation yet if any were killed. The incident comes just hours after a state of emergency was declared and law enforcement moved in to clear Emancipation Park, where white nationalists, neo-nazis, and Confederate sympathizers gathered for a demonstration called Unite the Right. The state of emergency was declared after violence broke out before the official start time of the event.
Video footage shows a line of cars driving down a street narrowly flanked by protestors. Suddenly, a silver convertible is slammed into the crowd by what looked like a grey Dodge Challenger that was driving at high speeds toward the crowd. Someone was thrown onto the hood of the silver car as it plowed forward. Others were hit and thrown to the side.
The crowd clamored to get out of the way, then immediately turned around and rushed around the crumpled cars. Some chased the grey vehicle up the street as it reversed away, again at high speed and dragging parts of its front bumper. Others stopped to help the injured, snap photos of the scene, and assess the situation until first responders and police arrived.
This comes not only after a state of emergency was declared, but just hours after the President and First Lady took to Twitter to reproach the violence in Charlottesville.
There is officially one dead as a result of the car attack in Charlottesville, as per Mayor Singer. He tweeted, “I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will–go home.”
The car has been found abandoned, with no sign of the driver. The Daily Beast reports that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Governor McAuliffe have been in contact and that Trump will be making an address from Bedford New Jersey, where he is currently on vacation.
UPDATE #2 – 5:45pm EST: WCNC in Charlotte reports that one person has been arrested in connection with this incident.
UPDATE #3 – 5:45pm EST: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe reveals that a total of three people — including two killed in a helicopter crash — have died in relation to this weekend’s events.
(Via Associated Press)