Three people have died in the United States after a racial tension between white nationalists and their opponents in the US city of Charlottesville.
A 20-year-old male neo-Nazi plowed his car into protesters who had gathered to oppose a white supremacist rally in a Virginia college town on Saturday, killing a 32-year-old woman named Heather Heyer and injuring at least 19 others.
The bloody day in Charlottesville turned even more tragic in the evening when a Virginia State Police helicopter monitoring the melees crashed miles away — killing two officers, officials said.
The carnage came during a whirlwind 24 hours in which hundreds of white nationalists converged on the home of the University of Virginia — leading to outbreaks of violence and a state of emergency being declared by the governor.
Tensions flared and protesters clashed, culminating in the terrifying moment when a silver Dodge Challenger barreled into a crowd of counter-protesters, knocking some to the ground and throwing others into the air.
“I was standing on the edge of the crowd and I saw the bodies fly,” said Kristen Leigh. “There was a car pummeling through us. … bodies flying through the air.”
The 20-year-old driver — identified as James Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio — fled by backing away from the scene, but was arrested a few blocks away.
He was charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and failing to stop at a fatal accident, authorities said.
The lone victim was identified as Heather Heyer, a paralegal from nearby Greene County whose last Facebook message read, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
Of the 19 people injured in the crash, five were in critical condition, four in serious, six in fair and four were in good health, officials said.
Some 15 other people were hurt in the brawls that broke out before and after the roadway rampage, officials said.
President Trump condemned the bloodshed but drew a storm of criticism from politicians on both sides of the aisle after he failed to call out the white supremacists and neo-Nazis blamed for the violence.
Source – NYTimes.com