One Dead Among Charlottesville Protesters After Driver Plows Car Through Crowd, Social Media Outrage Calling It a Terrorist Attack

Driver crashes his car in a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville
A woman who was injured when a car drove through a group of counterprotesters at the "Unite the Right" rally is helped in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Update: 4:01 p.m. EDT — Hospital says 19 people were injured after car crash

BREAKING: Hospital official says one dead, 19 injured after car plows into a group of protesters in downtown Charlottesville, Va.

— The Associated Press (@AP) August 12, 2017

A driver used a vehicle to plow through a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday after police shut down a white nationalist rally. Authorities confirmed to CBS News at least four people were hurt from the crash, suffering from injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said on Twitter that at least one person had been fatally injured from the vehicle attack.

I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will--go home.

— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 12, 2017

Police have not released the name of the person responsible for the crash nor have authorities confirmed if the suspect has been apprehended. However, a number reporters and witnesses on the scene said on Twitter that the victim, who was driving a Dodge Charger, has been arrested. It is unclear if the driver was affiliated with white nationalists protesters or counter-protesters at this time.

White nationalists gathered in Charlottesville for the "Unite the Right" protest aimed at stopping the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which city council voted to remove from a park formerly named after the Confederate leader in April.

The rally was initially supposed to start at noon on Saturday. However, after a number of fights broke out in the early morning, the city declared a state of emergency ordering police to shut down the rally. Virginia's Governor Terry issued a declaration of his own shortly authorities ended the rally.

"I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours," McAuliffe said in a statement.

Signer shared in the governor's sentiments, urging counter-protesters and white nationalists to stop the violence and go home.

"I am furious & heartsick by the car crash that has injured many. Please all-go home to your families. We can work tomorrow. GO HOME! PLEASE!" he wrote on Twitter.

The crash sparked immediate outrage on social media with an outpour of people calling the incident an act of terrorism, comparing the instance to similar car-plowing attacks that have taken place in London in 2017 and in Nice, France in 2016.

A terrorist attack. No different than ISIS. Same tactics. Just a different flavor of hate.

— A (@spacepuffins) August 12, 2017

Hours after violence between counter-protesters and white nationalists ensued, President Donald Trump released an official statement on Twitter, writing: "We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!"

See some of the reactions to the violence in Charlottesville below:

TERRORIST ATTACK. Call it a "terrorist attack"

— Jensen Karp (@JensenClan88) August 12, 2017

The car attack in Charlottesville is a terrorist attack and should be acknowledged as one by our administration.

— Andrew Middleton (@Andrew_midds) August 12, 2017

I think it's funny that they're still calling this terrorist attack a car crash. 😐 #Charlottesville pic.twitter.com/8iMsU9JWic

— PRE-KARDASHIAN KANYE (@CushKobain) August 12, 2017

@realDonaldTrump @HouseGOP you have a terrorist attack in #CharlottesvilleVA by your voters. Get off your goddam asses and do something.

— Mike Kaser (@HBMike2000) August 12, 2017

Exactly! When the same thing happened in France it was considered a terrorist attack but why isn't this considered one ??

— Arlee B.S. 🇨🇩 (@ArleeSmiles) August 12, 2017

It was a terrorist attack well at least that's what would be said if the driver was muslim.. #Charlottesville

— Kelvin Ruddy🇮🇪🇺🇸 (@kruddy79) August 12, 2017

Let's be honest about what this is. This is a terrorist attack, for the white supremacy cause, on American soil. This is where we are. pic.twitter.com/Gp01XjskcV

— Shelli Williams (@Swilli_75) August 12, 2017

This article originally used the word "accident" to refer to the attack. It has been updated to refer to the incident as an "attack."