Multiple stabbings were reported in a neo-Nazi march outside California's Capitol in Sacramento. At least 10 people were hospitalised, including two with critical stab wounds, as rioting between neo-Nazis and counter-protesters erupted. Police also confirmed a gun was located following the rally according to reports on Sunday (26 June).
The Sacramento Fire Department tweeted that nine men and one woman between the ages of 18 and 58 sustained multiple stab and laceration wounds. "It was quite a bit of a melee," Chris Harvey, public information officer for the Sacramento Fire Department, told reporters, adding that several different groups has taken part.
According to the Los Angeles Times, emergency responders were called at around 11.45am PST/7.45pm BST. Harvey said the victims were scattered over the Capitol grounds and that by 12.45pm PST/8.45pm BST, the crowds had been disbanded.
The Traditionalist Worker Party - described as a white nationalist group - was marching on Sunday 26 June "to protest against globalisation and in defence of the right to free expression," the group's website stated. The LA Times also reported that members of the group seemed to be outnumbered by counter-protesters, who were seen carrying signs reading "Nazi scum".
"They (counter-protesters) showed up ahead of time in a large group, probably 300 or more," Officer George Granada, California Highway Patrol public information officer with the Capitol Protection Division, told CNN. "They were positioned around the Capitol to stop them (TWP demonstrators) from carrying on their permit."
An organiser of the rally, identified as Vice Chairman, Matt Parrott, said his group's rally was a peaceful march. He blamed "leftist radicals" for the violence, while the chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, Matthew Heimbach, told reporters that one of their members had been stabbed and six "anti-fascists" were also stabbed.
"We knew we were outnumbered. We stood our ground. We will be back. This is a victory for us because more of them walked away injured," Heimbach said.
Footage from the fight shared on social media revealed counter-protesters were clad in black and were carrying large wooden sticks and makeshift weapons, Vice News reported. ABC10 reporter, Frances Wang, said there were "blood spatters all over the ground. Police trying to control crowds."
Video by ABC10 shows people knocked down and attacked.
No arrests have been reported, according to Vice News. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, said the Traditionalist Worker Party was the political offshoot of the Traditionalist Youth Network, The Hill reported.
Update made at 2.43am BST with latest injury count.