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3 dead, dozens others injured after clashes at white nationalist rally in Virginia


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- Kamini Ramdeen | AOL.com
(Reuters) - At least three people were killed on Saturday and 35 injured after protests turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia, as white nationalists protesting plans to remove the statue of a Confederate general clashed with counter-demonstrators and a car plowed into a crowd, officials said.

A 32-year-old female was among those killed, said Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas, and injuries ranged from life-threatening to minor. The male driver of the vehicle that plowed into a crowd is in custody, Thomas said, and police were treating the incident as a criminal homicide investigation.

Police also confirmed that a 20-year-old suspect named James Field had been arrested in connection with the car crash and was being held by authorities on charges including second degree murder.

Police confirmed that at least nine people were being treated for injuries, including some that were life-threatening, with five people in critical condition and four in serious condition. Dozens of others were injured in other violent clashes between protesters and counter-protesters during the day.

See photos from the scene

The clashes prompted the governor to declare an emergency and halt the rally, and President Donald Trump condemned the violence. The driver of the car has been taken into custody, according to numerous reports.

"I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here," Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer said on his Twitter feed. "I urge all people of good will - go home."

Video on social media and Reuters photographs showed a car slamming into a large group of what appeared to be counter-protesters, sending people flying into the air.

SEE MORE: Former KKK leader David Duke strikes out at Trump for condemning a white nationalist rally: 'It was white Americans who put you in the presidency'

The University of Virginia Health Systems received 20 patients from the scene near the car strike. One of those people died and 19 were being treated, a spokeswoman said without offering details on the injuries.

The City of Charlottesville said 15 people were injured at the site of the rally.

"We're closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia," Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf course.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides."

A reporter shouted a question to Trump about whether he had spoken out strongly enough against white nationalists but the president made no comment.

The clashes highlights a resurfacing of the white supremacist movement under the "alt-right" banner after years in the shadow of mainstream American politics.

RELATED: See torch-wielding protesters descend on the UVA campus at night

"You will not erase us," chanted a crowd of white nationalists, while counter-protesters carried placards that read: "Nazi go home" and "Smash white supremacy."

Tensions in the city intensified when the vehicle plowed into a crowd of people gathered in a street two blocks from the park that houses the statue of Robert E. Lee, who headed the Confederate army in the American Civil War.

The Charlottesville confrontation was a stark reminder of the growing political polarization that has intensified since Trump's election last year.

A video shown on CNN showed a silver sedan driving at high speed into the crowd before reversing along the same street.

SEE MORE: Trump condemns hatred displayed 'on many sides' at violent rally

Witnesses said it looked like the driver intended to mow down people. Police have not offered any details on the car incident.

"From what I saw, it looked extremely deliberate," Will Mafei, 23, of Charlottesville said. He also witnessed the car hitting pedestrians as it went in reverse.

Earlier, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in the city, home of the University of Virginia's flagship campus. The gathering was declared an "unlawful assembly," allowing police to disperse the protesters, and police cleared the park where the rally was to be held.

"I am praying that God help us all," Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy said in an interview with CNN. "We are better than this."

(Additional reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Frank McGurty and Alistair Bell)

Torch-carrying white nationalists chant Nazi slogans in march on campus

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  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists encircle and chant at counter protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: A White Supremacist helps another after he was hit with pepper spray during a clash between counter protestors and Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacist groups after they marched through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Young men hold up torches on the steps of the Rotunda as other Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: A group holds up a flag on the steps of the Rotunda as other Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists March with Torches in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

White supremacist protesters violently clash with counterprotesters

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  • White Supremacists and Counter Protestors Clash in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacist kicks back a smoke bomb thrown by counter protestors during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists and Counter Protestors Clash in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacist tries to strike a counter protestor with a White Nationalist flag during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • US-POLITICS-SOCIETY-RIGHTS-RACISM
    People receive first-aid after a car accident ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. A vehicle plowed into a crowd of people Saturday at a Virginia rally where violence erupted between white nationalist demonstrators and counter-protesters, witnesses said, causing an unclear number of injuries. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Car Runs Over Crowd of Anti-White Supremacy Protestors in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: Police, medical personnel, and other protestors attend to the injured people after a car rammed into a crowd of anti-White Supremacy protestors in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A woman who was injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally is helped in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts?
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Rescue workers transport a victim who was injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • US-POLITICS-SOCIETY-RIGHTS-RACISM
    A woman is received first-aid after a car accident ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. A picturesque Virginia city braced Saturday for a flood of white nationalist demonstrators as well as counter-protesters, declaring a local emergency as law enforcement attempted to quell early violent clashes. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • US-POLITICS-SOCIETY-RIGHTS-RACISM
    People receive first-aid after a car accident ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. A picturesque Virginia city braced Saturday for a flood of white nationalist demonstrators as well as counter-protesters, declaring a local emergency as law enforcement attempted to quell early violent clashes. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • US-POLITICS-SOCIETY-RIGHTS-RACISM
    A woman is received first-aid after a car accident ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. A picturesque Virginia city braced Saturday for a flood of white nationalist demonstrators as well as counter-protesters, declaring a local emergency as law enforcement attempted to quell early violent clashes. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists and Counter Protestors Clash in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacist helps a friend after he was punched in the face during clashes with counter protestors at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists and Counter Protestors Clash in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A counter protestor strikes a White Nationalist with a baton during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists and Counter Protestors Clash in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: White Supremacists and counter protestors clash at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A man is seen with an injury during a clash between members of white nationalist protesters against a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Virginia State Police move in as members of white nationalist protesters clash against a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    People struggle with a Confederate flag as a crowd of white nationalists are met by a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Justin Ide
  • White Supremacists and Counter Protestors Clash in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: White Supremacists rush forward with shields and sticks during clashes with counter protestors at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A white supremacists stands behind militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A white supremacists stands with militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A white supremacists stands behind militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • Violent Clashes Erupt at 'Unite The Right' Rally In Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12: White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right' take refuge in an alleyway after being hit with pepper spray after the 'Unite the Right' rally was declared an unlawful gathering August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-facist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Members of white nationalists are met by a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Members of white nationalists clash against a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A white supremacists carries the Confederate flag as he arrives for a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Virginia State Troopers stand under a statue of Robert E. Lee before a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A white supremacist holds a flag during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A member of a white supremacists militia stands near a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • US-POLITICS-SOCIETY-RIGHTS-RACISM
    Virginia State Police officer aims during clash protests in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. A picturesque Virginia city braced Saturday for a flood of white nationalist demonstrators as well as counter-protesters, declaring a local emergency as law enforcement attempted to quell early violent clashes. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists and Counter Protestors Clash in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: White Supremacists and counter protestors clash at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • White Supremacists and Counter Protestors Clash in Charlottesville
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacist with a White Nationalist flag during clashes with counter protestors at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    First responders stand by a car that was struck when a car drove through a group of counter protesters at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Justin Ide
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Rescue workers transport a victim who was injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A man who was hit with pepper spray reacts during a clash between a crowd of white supremacist protesters against a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Justin Ide
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    White supremacists clash with counter protesters during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A white supremacist militia member stands in front of clergy counter protesting during rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A counter protest yells at white supremacists during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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