CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Three people died Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups had been scheduled, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said.
A 32-year-old woman died when a car plowed into a crowd of protesters. A helicopter crash killed two Virginia State Police officers, according to reports.
They were patrolling the rally from the air when their aircraft went down near a golf course seven miles south of Charlottesville.
McAuliffe told white supremacists and neo-Nazis who came to Charlottesville for planned rally: “Our message is plain and simple. Go home. … You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you.”
The driver was later taken into custody, the city said. It did not name the person.
“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will — go home,” Mayor Mike Signer wrote on Twitter.
A video showing the car crash into the crowd at a high rate of speed was posted to social media.
Warning: The video is graphic in nature.
Images show rescuers helping the injured in the aftermath of the crash.
The city added there were 15 other injuries associated with the scheduled rally.
McAuliffe had earlier declared an emergency, and police worked to disperse hundreds of protesters in the college town after clashes broke out ahead of the rally’s scheduled start.
Fistfights and screaming matches erupted barely 12 hours after a scuffle Friday night at the nearby University of Virginia between torch-bearing demonstrators and counterprotesters.
Saturday’s rally was the latest event drawing white nationalists and right-wing activists from across the country to this Democratic-voting town — a development precipitated by the city’s decision to remove symbols of its Confederate past.