Three dead after violent clashes in Charlottesville

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) confirmed Saturday night that at least three people were killed after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. turned violent.

One of the three died after a car plowed through a group of counter-protesters. The two other victims were Virginia State Police Department officers who were in a helicopter that crashed.

The helicopter crash happened a few miles outside of Charlottesville and it was not immediately clear what caused the crash.

Virginia State Police said Saturday that the helicopter crashed in a wooded area near a home around 5 p.m. The crash is being investigated and it is unclear if it was tied to nearby protests.

The incident came after McAuliffe had declared a state of emergency for the city after clashes between white nationalist and Nazi groups and counter-protesters.

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White nationalist, white supremacist and alt-right groups were initially scheduled to gather in Charlottesville's Emancipation Park Saturday to protest the city's decision to remove a Confederate statue there. 

But as clashes broke out ahead of the so-called "Unite the Right" rally Saturday morning, police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly, breaking up the event before it officially began.

A vehicle plowed through a crowd of counter-protesters in the afternoon after the police broke up the violent clashes.

Video posted on social media shows a car careening through the crowd as another vehicle rams into its rear bumper before backing away. In other photos and videos posted online Saturday, people can be seen being treated for injuries.

Updated 7:35 p.m. E.T.