A vehicle ran into a crowd of counter-protesters, leaving one person dead, after Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Saturday. The violence began in Charlottesville leading up to the “Unite the Right” rally Saturday.
Several hundred protesters were marching peacefully in a long line when the car drove into a group of them, according to the Associated Press.
A hospital official told the AP that one person was killed and 19 others injured. Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer also confirmed on Twitter that one person died during the rally.
“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will–go home,” Signer posted.
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
President Donald Trump addressed the violence at the rally when signing legislation regarding the Veterans Administration in New Jersey. Trump said he condemns the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” He added that law and order must return to Charlottesville and that the situation will be studied to “see what we’re doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen.”
“I love the people of our country,” Trump said. “I love all of the people of our country. We’re going to make America great again, but we’re going to make it great for all of the people.”
Trump did not take any questions after signing the legislation.
Governor McAuliffe declared a state of emergency for the area on Saturday morning.
“It is now clear that public safety cannot be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property,” McAuliffe said in a statement, adding that he is “disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence”
President Donald Trump took to Twitter Saturday afternoon to condemn 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!” he said.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
Virginia State Police tweeted that protesters charged at authorities in the park Saturday morning. Arrests were being made, and there were injuries stemming from an altercation, the department said.
In light of the events, the University of Virginia also said its events and programming would be canceled. The university medical center will remain open, however.
Several hundred white nationalists gathered on the University of Virginia campus with torches in hand Friday night. There multiple reported injuries after the group clashed with counter-protestors.
First Lady Melania Trump also tweeted her opposition to the violence.
“Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville,” she posted.
Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 12, 2017
The hate and bigotry witnessed in #Charlottesville does not reflect American values. I wholeheartedly oppose their actions.
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) August 12, 2017
Their tiki torches may be fueled by citronella but their ideas are fueled by hate, & have no place in civil society. https://t.co/himqTMBQnH
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 12, 2017
Racism, bigotry & hate are wrong – in Charlottesville & anywhere else in this country. We should be a better people than that.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) August 12, 2017
March & rally in Charlottesville against everything the flag stands for. President Trump must condemn in strongest terms immediately.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 12, 2017
The rally was expected to draw up to 6,000 people, according to the Associated Press. It comes after the city of Charlottesville voted earlier this year to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.