But as the death toll linked to the rally rose to three - one in the auto ramming and two state police officers in a helicopter crash outside Charlottesville - the president's apparent refusal to criticize far-right hate groups sparked sharp criticism, even from members of his Republican Party.
Lt. Cullen was reported to be the son of Loudon County Commissioner Henry Cullen, according to the Loudon County Sheriff's Office, and Local 8 News said Trooper Burke was believed to have family in Knox County, according to investigators.
The helicopter was hovering near the white nationalist rally when it crashed into a wooded area on Old Farm Road around 5 p.m., just outside the city of Charlottesville, police said.
The helicopter fatalities capped an already hard day for Virginians and the nation as white nationalists clashed with counter protesters and a vehicle rammed into a crowd of the latter.More news: Trump should have been 'much harsher' with Charlottesville statement, Scaramucci says
James Alex Fields Jr. has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Heyer.
The Daily Caller News Foundation was the first media outlet on scene, and heard from eyewitness accounts as stunned neighbors made their way to the crash site.
Sources familiar with the operation said state police were filming the Charlottesville protests from the helicopter. "Our state police and law enforcement family at-large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day", Flaherty said.
"This is a devastating loss for their families, the Virginia State Police, and the entire commonwealth".More news: USA stocks fall again on North Korea tensions
Cullen graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in May 1994 as a member of the 90th Basic Session. He joined the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit in 1999 and is survived by his wife and two sons.
Bates would have turned 41 years old Sunday, Aug. 13. Trooper-Pilot Bates was 40. He graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in August 2004 as a member of the 107th Basic Session.
Our thoughts and prayers are with both State Troopers, who died trying to protect Charlottesville from hate, bigotry, and violence.More news: 'Heavy fire' in Burkina Faso restaurant attack
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