A car plowed into protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, today, injuring multiple people severely — killing one — and, as first responders rushed to perform CPR and tend to the injured, law enforcement hunted down the badly damaged vehicle — and reportedly arrested the driver.
— Kno (@Kno) August 12, 2017
— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) August 12, 2017
“We’re closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia,” President Trump said Saturday from New Jersey, quoted by CBS News, which pointed out the commander-in-chief did not address brazen Nazi symbolism and regalia worn by the self-identified alt-right attendees. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.”
“It’s been going on for a long time in our country,” Trump said of racism and bigotry at the chaotic event.“Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time.”
“We have to heal the wounds of our country,” the president concluded.
“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will,” tweeted Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, “go home.”
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
“BREAKING: Hospital official says one dead, 19 injured after car plows into a group of protesters in downtown Charlottesville, Va.,” the Associated Press reported via Twitter late Saturday afternoon.
BREAKING: Hospital official says one dead, 19 injured after car plows into a group of protesters in downtown Charlottesville, Va.
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 12, 2017
Just prior to the incident, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency over ongoing bloody clashes taking place at planned protests over the removal of a Civil War-era statue, and, more broadly, disputes over the perceived rise of white nationalism, fascism, and other hot-button social issues.
Governor McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency to aid state response to violence at Alt-Right rally in Charlottesville
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) August 12, 2017
Witnesses variously told a smattering of reporters on scene a gray muscle car drove toward marchers at a high rate of speed, slammed into several people, possibly smashing them between the attacking and another vehicle, shifted the car quickly into reverse and drove rapidly backwards away from the scene.
Billing the demonstration as an attempt to “unify the right-wing against a totalitarian Communist crackdown,” participants calling themselves Unite the Right held a march last night in Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia, carrying tiki torches in a procession — which, ultimately, kettled a smaller group of counter-protesters, sparking brutal skirmishes.
Altercations began again early on Saturday in advance of a planned rally already assumed to turn violent, including the deadly incident involving the vehicle.
— Craig Stanley (@_CraigStanley) August 12, 2017
Following the deadly incident, police cordoned off at least one block, and a reporter claimed to have seen a helicopter overhead, though it was unclear whether those details were related.
According to Taylor Lorenz, a reporter for Mic and The Hill, “Anyway several police officers at the station here think the guy running people down wasn’t malicious. They said the driver was scared.”
Whether or not there was a motive, what that might have been, and additional pertinent information has yet to be reported; but, as the volatile situation continues to unfold, details will be updated as necessary.
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Contributed by Claire Bernish of The Daily Sheeple.