Man who drove car into VA protesters, killing 1, identified
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The man who police say drove a Dodge Charger into a crowd of protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia - killing one woman and injuring dozens more - has been named Saturday night.
Virginia State Police say James Alex Fields, Jr. 20, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of a 32-year-old woman. Fields is from Maumee, Ohio.
Virginia state police also confirmed one of its helicopters crashed Saturday outside Charlottesville, killing two troopers, bringing the death toll related to the rally to three.
Police said the helicopter was assisting law enforcement officers to monitor crowds at the rally. Police said Lt. H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian and Trooper-Pilot Burke M.M. Bates of Quinton were killed in the crash.
Governor Terry McAuliffe had harsh words for those attending the rally Saturday after it turned violent.
McAuliffe told the "white supremacists" and "Nazis" who attended the rally to "go home."
"There is no place for you here. There is no place for you in America,” McAuliffe said.
Back in Charlottesville, the chaos boiled over at what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade: the governor earlier declared a state of emergency, police dressed in riot gear ordered people out and helicopters circled overhead.
The group had gathered to protest plans to remove a statue of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and others who arrived to protest the racism.
Matt Korbon, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, said several hundred counter-protesters were marching when "suddenly there was just this tire screeching sound." A silver sedan smashed into another car, then backed up, barreling through "a sea of people."
The impact hurled people into the air. Those left standing scattered, screaming and running for safety in different directions.
The driver was later arrested, authorities said.
The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them.
The organizer of the white nationalist rally encouraged attendees to leave town after authorities declared an unlawful assembly and police ordered people to disperse.
Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler organized Saturday's rally to protest the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Kessler told The Associated Press Saturday that he and other people who were going to speak at the event evacuated with security when police issued the order to disperse. He says he wants rally attendees to leave town peacefully.
Richard Spencer is a prominent alt-right activist who was scheduled to speak. He says he's also encouraging people to go home.
First Lady Melania Trump called for peace after violent clashes broke out at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.
Trump said at a bill signing in New Jersey, Americans must come together "with love for our nation ... and true affection for each other."
"What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives," the president said, adding he condemns "this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides."