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Florida officials respond to violence at Virginia rally

1 killed, 19 hurt when car slams into crowd of counter-protesters

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right' exchange insluts with counter-protesters as they attempt to guard the entrance to Lee Park during the 'Unite the Right' rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right' exchange insluts with counter-protesters as they attempt to guard the entrance to Lee Park during the 'Unite the Right' rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Leaders across Florida have responded to the level of violence that was seen at a rally Saturday in Virginia.

One person was killed and 19 were hurt when a speeding car slammed into a throng of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, where a "Unite the Right" rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups had been scheduled take place, the city tweeted on its verified account.

A 32-year-old woman was killed while walking across the street, Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said. 

Two Virginia State Patrol troopers were killed in a helicopter crash while "assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation in Charlottesville," the agency said in a news release. The pilot, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Trooper Berke M.M. Bates, who would have turned 41 Sunday, died in the crash.

In addition to the one death and 19 injuries in the car-ramming incident, the city said there were at least 15 other injuries associated with the scheduled rally.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe had a pointed message for the right-wing groups that flocked to Charlottesville on Saturday: "Go home. ... You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you."

McAuliffe was just one of many officials who expressed their thoughts following the violent rally.

President Donald Trump released several tweets in which he expressed condolences to those who lost their lives during the violent chaos, and assured the people of Charlottesville that assistance would be provided as needed.

Trump also called on Americans to come together to stand up to hate.

"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!" the president tweeted.

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted, echoing the president's statements.

Following statements issued by the country's national leaders, though, was a long list of Florida officials who issued responses of their own.

Gov. Rick Scott let out a series of tweets regarding the violence.

"We must stand united as Americans in condemnation of the hate on display in Charlottesville," Scott wrote. "We are praying for an end to the violence and more peace & unity."

Scott added that the hatred displayed at the rally was "despicable" and "has no place in America."

The governor also shared a tweet by the president, adding his own thoughts to it.

In a tweet similar to the governor's, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer commented on the violent rally.

"Terrible to see the events happening in Charlottesville. Violence, racism, and hatred have no place in our nation." Dyer wrote.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs tweeted Sunday about the events, expressing sympathy for those involved.

Sen. Marco Rubio also denounced the behavior displayed in Charlottesville via Twitter, adding that it contradicts with American principles.

"Nothing patriotic about #Nazis,the #KKK or #WhiteSupremacists It's the direct opposite of what #America seeks to be. #Charlotesville," Rubio tweeted.

Rubio said the "haters" in Charlottesville were "agitators in search of relevance" and were seeking publicity "for a vile cause very few people support." He said they could not be ignored, but that it was important that they don't receive the attention he believed they were seeking.

Rubio also tweeted about Trump's response to the violence.

Rep. Val Demings released a statement of her own on Twitter.

The congresswoman's husband, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, did not release a statement regarding the Virginia rally.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy tweeted about the violence at the events.

"There's no place for such hate & violence in our society. Our country needs unity now," Murphy wrote. "The events at #Charlottesville are shameful."

Florida House of Representatives Speaker Richard Corcoran also shared his thoughts on Twitter.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina did not immediately comment on the events, but retweeted the following statements that others, including Dyer, released on Twitter.

CNN contributed to this report.


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