UPDATE: Three Dead in Violent Protest in VirginiaAugust 12, 2017 9:38pm
A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia after protests leave one woman and two state troopers dead.
The police chief in Charlottesville says a 32-year-old woman is dead and at least two dozen were injured when someone appeared to intentionally drive their vehicle into a group of demonstrators peacefully protesting the presence of white supremacists.
The vehicle, which carried an Ohio licence plate, was registered to James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, outside of Toledo. Police say the 20-year-old was taken into custody and now faces second-degree murder charges.
Virginia state police say the two troopers were killed when their helicopter crashed in a wooded area outside the city, the home of the University of Virginia and the estate of its founder, former US President Thomas Jefferson. Authorities confirmed Saturday night that the helicopter was assisting with public safety in connection to the protests, though there was no indication of foul play.
The vehicle incident comes some time after tempers flared between the demonstrators and the white supremacists, who were there to protest the city’s planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Punches and objects were thrown, prompting Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to declare the state of emergency.
Below is the Governor's statement regarding the emergency declaration he authorized this morning: pic.twitter.com/yS1E9mispG
— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) August 12, 2017
US President Donald Trump says he has spoken to McAuliffe and condemns the violence.
“We agreed that the hate and the division must stop, and must stop right now. We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and … true affection for each other,” Trump says.
Events in Charlottesville appeared to have calmed down late Saturday afternoon, with small groups of demonstrators continuing to peacefully march and wave flags.
In related news, the Detroit Red Wings have issued a statement condemning and denying any connection to a Michigan-based group of white supremacists using the Red Wings logo.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 12, 2017