A car rammed through a crowd of demonstrators who were protesting a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday afternoon, inuring at least four to six people. Authorities said the injuries ranged from minor to life-threatening. The group was marching with Black Lives Matter signs and LGBTQ flags when they were hit.
The mayor said at least one person had died:
These are photos from the scene. You can watch a chilling video of what happened at Heavy’s story here. Officials haven’t yet determined the cause of the crash or named the driver or victims, as of the time of publication.
Warning: Some of these photos may be graphic.
According to witnesses, counter protesters were hit as they turned a corner during their protest march. They were chanting things like “our streets” in response to the words “Unite the Right.” This happened after police had dispersed a group of white nationalists, CBS reported.
When you watch the video, it appears that cars were driving slowly through a busy street, in a line, while surrounded be protesters who were walking peacefully. Then one car started driving faster, hitting protesters and the car in front of it, and then appeared to reverse into more protesters.
Witnesses referred to the video as a “deliberate act of terrorism.” Others said the car appeared to deliberately mow down pedestrians.
This photo shows a woman being brought to an ambulance, while she appeared unresponsive:
It wasn’t clear immediately what happened just before the crash. Some men were wearing white helmets and homemade shields, yelling “Blood and soil!” Other counter protesters yelled “Nazi scum off our streets!” CNN reported.
According to CBS News, white nationalists had been clashing with counter protesters for hours before the collision. Alt-right demonstrators were protesting the city’s decision to remove a state of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park.
The crash happened near Water & 4th streets. Local residents were asked to avoid that area so medics could access the scene.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe had declared a state of emergency in the city because of violence that was breaking out.
These rallies and counter rallies had peaceful moments too, such as when Cornel West was present earlier and people prayed and sang, “This Little Light of Mine.”
At the time of publication, parts of 4th and Water streets were blocked off.
Protesters for the “Unite the Right” rally were wearing military-style clothing, CBS News reported, and others wore shirts with Nazi symbols and Hitler quotes.
Here are police, blocking off the road so victims can be transferred to the hospital:
Here are more photos from the scene.
Some of these photos may be disturbing.
More than 1,000 police officers were deployed and 2,000 to 6,000 people were expected at the rally. Tensions mounted because the night before, a group of alt-right protesters marched through the University of Virginia carrying torches.
Many felt the torches were a clear sign that the group was trying to intimidate others.
This is a developing story.