Nineteen injured at site of planned ‘Unite the Right’ event as Trump condemns ‘violence on many sides’ and Virginia governor declares emergency.
Earlier Saturday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency after unrest in the Virginia city of more than 43,000 people.
Supporters gathered in Emancipation Park Saturday morning in anticipation of a noon rally held by "Unite the Right." The aim of the rally was to protest the removal of a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The park was formerly known as Lee Park.
State police and members of the Virginia
Thomas said the hit-and-run is being treated as a case of criminal homicide. Fourteen other people were treated for injuries suffered in "individual engagements" as violence flared amid the white nationalist rally and counter-protests, he said.
Also Saturday, two Virginia State Police troopers were killed when a police helicopter went down seven miles southwest of Charlottesville shortly before 5 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration and a senior law enforcement source briefed on the matter said.
Circumstances of the crash of the Bell 407 helicopter were not immediately clear. State police said an investigation is underway.
Ahead of the rally that was planned for noon, different groups of protesters clashed with hundreds of white nationalists, Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis throughout the day. They began to disperse after Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police told attendees to depart.
Police reported that eight were injured in those scuffles and one person was arrested.
President Donald Trump called the series of events terrible, but was criticized for not providing a full-throated condemnation of the white nationalist elements of the protests, which included former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke and white nationalist leader Richard Spencer.
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred bigotry and violence on many sides," the president said during a Saturday press conference. "On many sides."
When asked to clarify what the president meant by "many sides," a White House official said Trump "was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protesters and counter protesters today."
Trump did not respond when reporters asked whether the Charlottesville car crash was terrorism or if he denounced white nationalism.