WASHINGTON, D.C. — The driver of a vehicle that slammed into a crowd of counter-protesters to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., has been identified as James Alex Fields, Jr., a 20-year-old resident of Ohio.
Police charged Fields with one count of second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit and run attended failure to stop with injury. 19 others were injured in the incident.
A 32-year-old woman was killed as she was crossing the street, though police have not yet identified the woman.
Two members of the state patrol who were assisting law enforcement were also killed when their helicopter crashed near Charlottesville. They were identified as Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Va., and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Va. Both died at the scene.
Graphic video of the car crash showed a gray sedan plowing into pedestrians and two other stopped cars. The driver then reversed in an effort to flee the scene, as screams could be heard from passersby.
Early on Saturday evening, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe condemned the white supremacists, telling the Nazi marchers that “there is no place for you here. There is no place for you in America.”
“Shame on you. You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot,” he continued.
McAuliffe appeared at a press conference in Charlottesville in the aftermath of the bloody confrontations on the street. Earlier in the day, he declared a state of emergency to assist authorities in the city in controlling the situation.
Throughout the day, cable news networks played shocking and even chilling images of neo-Nazis and white nationalists marching in the streets of Charlottesville as they were protesting plans to remove a statute of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. They quickly clashed with counter-protesters before police declared an unlawful assembly and ordered them to disburse.
McAuliffe said that he spoke with Trump on Saturday and twice told him that “there has got to be a movement in this country to bring people together. The hatred and the rhetoric that has gone on and it’s intensified over the last couple of months is dividing this great nation.”
Trump, too, responded with tweets and a statement calling for unity, and condemning “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”
But he faced criticism for not specifically calling out the white supremacists or citing the car crash.
Some members of Trump’s own party called on the President to specifically cite the Charlottesville tragedy as a terror attack, or to call out white nationalists. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that it was “very important” for the country to hear the president “describe events in Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by white supremacists.”
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 12, 2017
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) wrote that “we must call evil by its name.” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) echoed that “we should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”
We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 12, 2017