SECOND UPDATE One person has died after a car slammed into a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, the city’s mayor Mike Signer has confirmed. “I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” he tweeted. “I urge all people of good will–go home.” Media accounts put the number of injured as high as 34. The driver is in police custody.
UPDATE A car has crashed into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters in Charlottesville, with the Associated Press reporting around 2 pm ET that at least one person on the ground received medical treatment but eyewitness reports on MSNBC saying at least nine people were hurt and bodies “were flying.” An MSNBC producer on scene said the badly damaged car drove away after the crash, with police in pursuit.
The silver Dodge Charger apparently struck a car in front of it, pushing that vehicle into bystanders.
Charlottesville police have not confirmed that the crash was intentional, but city officials tweeted that the multi-vehicle crash resulted in multiple injuries:
Previous A black clergywoman protesting a white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia abruptly ended a live remote interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid as violence erupted, just one of many tense moments broadcast as cable news channels covered the ongoing clashes.
The Charlottesville Police Department has alerted that a “Declaration of Local Emergency” has been issued. “Local officials continue to closely monitor the situation,” the police said, noting that the clashes between white nationalists marchers and counter-protesters is localized to the downtown Charlottesville area.
The “Unite the Right” rally came in response to the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue from a University of Virginia park. Thousands of white nationalist and alt-right marchers and counter-protesters began gathering this morning, though the rally was eventually called off after local police ordered their dispersal. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency.
MSNBC, CNN and Fox News Channel have broken into regular programming to cover the developing situation.