Several demonstrators were stabbed in a battle between neo-nazi and protesters during a violent clash outside the California State Capitol between neo-Nazis and counter-protesters. It is said the Traditionalist Worker Party group wanted to assist supporters of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump .
The Sacramento Fire Department called it a “mass casualty incident” that left nine men and one woman between the ages of 19 and 58 injured after the melee, some with “critical trauma stab wounds” and “lacerations.”
Police estimated more than 150 counter-protesters showed up to force about 25 neo-Nazis to leave, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The massive brawl between the two groups broke out after people armed with sticks rushed the rally organized by the Traditionalist Worker Party.
Clashes broke out before the event began at numerous locations around the Capitol grounds among the 400 people gathered for and against the rally, which had been heavily promoted . Injuries were reported on both sides of the altercation.
“We had some pretty dynamic and chaotic situations,” said Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Chris Harvey, who arrived as a public information officer and quickly found himself working as a paramedic.
“We had a number of times where we had a patient on the ground and crews were trying to do triage and take care of them and the chaos was enveloping them. They were surrounded by the CHP and police officers just trying to keep the general surge of people away.”
Witnesses said the violence erupted at different locations around the Capitol grounds, hindering the initial law enforcement response as confrontations began before the event was scheduled to start.
Damion Osborne, a Sacramento community activist who came out to join the anti-Nazi protesters Sunday, said more trouble erupted about 11:20 a.m. when a neo-Nazi with a stick, a sign and shirt with a swastika and the words “White Power” approached the crowd.
“He dodged a bottle and then a rock, then someone broke a rock over his back,” said Osborne, 26. “The organizer said, ‘Stop, let him speak.’
“Then some folks came up to take his sign away and he wouldn’t let go, so a girl from the anti-racist side punched him. As soon as he was getting beat down, the cops came and grabbed him and started shooting rubber pellets.”
By 11:40, an African American man had been stabbed in the left arm, and police formed a circle around him as he lay on the ground being attended to by Andrea Combs, a medical assistant from Sacramento who was part of the protests.
“He’s 25, he’s from Carson City, his name is Nate,” said Combs, 43. “The Nazis are after the black people. I saw the second stabbing victim drop, too.”
Sean Moore, 23, of Sacramento was bleeding heavily from his right side just above his thigh, and bystanders said he was part of the anti-Nazi protest.
By 3 p.m., officials said the total number of injured was at eight, including five people who had been stabbed. Three of them were considered in serious condition and officials said one victim left the scene in his car, then called for an ambulance from his home near 65th Street and Fruitridge Road.