A Virginia State Police helicopter crashed into a wooded area near Charlottesville at about 2 p.m. PDT just as the city saw violent clashes involving white nationalists, "alt-right" activists and counterprotesters at a "Unite the Right" rally on Saturday.
Lt. H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian and Trooper-Pilot Burke M.M. Bates of Quinton were killed in the crash, Virginia State Police reports.
One person died when a vehicle surged into a crowd of what witnesses said was counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville.
"I have a message to all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today: My message is go home".
The police have arrested a man they believe drove the auto, which killed a 32-year-old woman and injured 19 others, Guardianreported.
Video of the incident shows a auto speeding down a narrow street filled with protesters before slamming into protesters and sending them ariborne, ultimately stopping only when it hit a line of cars.
Police Chief Al Thomas said some of the 35 victims sustained life-threatening injuries.
He then said that the driver of the auto was "honking their horn" and then "they were just, like, bulldozing through people". Five were in critical condition as of Saturday evening. One counter-protester died and several others were injured after a driver plowed into a crowd. Earlier, hundreds of white nationalists and counter-protesters chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other.
Despite the decision to quash the rally, clashes continued on side streets and throughout downtown.
But the reaction was different among Republicans from the South, where a sizable percentage of GOP voters support keeping the sort of Confederate monuments that the white supremacist groups rallied in Charlottesville to protect.
President Trump, known for his rapid-fire tweets, remained silent throughout the morning.
"We're gonna fulfill the promises of Donald Trump", Duke said in an interview with The Indianapolis Star on Saturday in Charlottesville. "As one of the oldest and largest racial justice organizations in our country, we understand the human devastation discrimination brings, and the urgency of acting now to combat discrimination and hate".
He then wrote: "There is no place for this kind of violence in America".
President Donald Trump speaking at his New Jersey Golf Club, "We condemn in strongest terms this display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides".
Trump said that he spoke to Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe and "we agreed that the hate and the division in the America must stop, and must stop right now. Lets come together as one!"
The Justice Department announcement came as calls for federal investigators to probe Saturday's violence began to emerge from both sides of the aisle.
White nationalists gathered in the Virginia college town over the weekend as part of a "pro-white" demonstration to protest the planned removal a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Pedestrians struck by the vehicle could be seen rolling up and over the hood.
In addition to plans to remove the statue, officials have renamed Lee Park where the statue stands, to Emancipation Park, which those opposed to the changes, called "empty political correctness".
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