Two state troopers died Saturday in a helicopter crash near Charlottesville, Virginia, close to a white nationalist rally that ended in violence and at least one additional death. The New York Daily News claims that the helicopter was linked to the violent clashes engulfing the city. According to a press release, the two victims were Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.
Trump tweeted his condolences to the families of the two victims, writing: "Deepest condolences to the families & fellow officers of the VA State Police who died today. You're all among the best this nation produces."
Virginia state police outlined some of the details of the crash via Facebook, writing:
It is unclear where the helicopter was heading, nor under what circumstances it was linked to the violent Charlottesville rally.
In a statement, the local superintendent noted: "Our state police and law enforcement family at-large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day ... Lieutenant Cullen was a highly-respected professional aviator and Trooper-Pilot Bates was a welcome addition to the Aviation Unit, after a distinguished assignment as a special agent with our Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Their deaths are a tremendous loss to our agency and the Commonwealth.”