5 dead, 40 injured after SUV goes to Wisconsin Christmas parade – NBC Chicago
A cheerful scene of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats and waving pom poms turned deadly in an instant, as an SUV drove through barricades and headed for a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing at least five people and injuring more than 40 others.
A “person of interest” was in custody and the car was recovered, Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson said, but gave no details of the person or any possible motive. The investigation was ongoing, with assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
The town of Waukesha posted on its social media accounts on Sunday evening that it could confirm at least five people had died and more than 40 had been injured, while noting that it was still collecting information. The city statement also noted that many people went to the hospital. The city did not disclose any additional information on those who died.
The event was broadcast live on Facebook, and part of the video showed a red SUV driving through the parade at what appeared to be high speed followed by gasps and sirens.
“What happened in Waukesha today is disgusting, and I have no doubts that those responsible will be brought to justice,” tweeted Attorney General Josh Kaul, the state’s top law enforcement official. .
The incident may have occurred during a knife fight or stabbing and then someone involved fled, according to four senior law enforcement officials who spoke to NBC News.
Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the vehicle incident, but may be looking for other suspects in the knife fight, the sources said.
At around 4:39 p.m., an SUV drove through a barricade on Gasper Avenue and Main Street, then headed towards the crowd that had gathered for the parade, Thompson said.
Video shows the SUV hitting what appear to be members of a marching band and several others along the parade route before continuing. The sound of the fanfare heard before the approach of the SUV is replaced by screams.
Dan Thompson of the Waukesha Police Department and Chief Steve Howard of the Wauskeha Fire Department provided an update on Sunday evening after a car hit a crowd during the town’s Christmas parade.
Police said at one point an officer discharged his gun, shooting at the suspect’s vehicle in an attempt to stop him. No passerby was injured by the gunfire, and Thompson said he was unsure whether the driver was hit by the officer’s bullets. They do not believe that shots were fired from inside the car.
The scene would have been safe and secure within hours of the incident, police said at an 8 p.m. press conference.
Main Street will remain closed from Barstow and Main in Wisconsin and the Main until at least noon Monday, the city said, and businesses in that area are expected to remain closed.
The city said that once the area is reopened, space for a temporary memorial will be made at the veterans park.
“The community mourns the loss of its members and the injured,” the statement from Waukesha said. “We ask the community to come together during this time and keep the families in your prayers.”
Waukesha town leaders spoke at a press conference on Sunday following an incident in which several people were killed and at least 28 others were injured when a vehicle crashed into a Christmas parade.
Earlier in the evening, two hospitals reported treating 28 people, while police and local hospitals said at least 11 adults and 15 children were injured. Information on the severity of the injuries was not immediately known, authorities said. “Some” deaths were reported at the time, but police refused to provide a number of those who died, citing the privacy of the families of the victims.
As of 8 p.m., the Wisconsin Children’s Hospital said it had received 15 patients from the incident, with no deaths reported at the time.
Summit Aurora Medical Center was treating a total of 13 patients on Sunday night: three in critical condition, four in serious condition and six in fair condition, according to a statement.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee said one of its priests, as well as several Catholic parishioners and schoolchildren in Waukesha, were injured in the incident.
Angelito Tenorio, a West Allis city councilor who is running as Wisconsin state treasurer, told The Associated Press he was watching the parade with his family when they saw the SUV rush into the region.
“Then we heard a loud bang,” Tenorio said. “And after that, we just heard deafening screams and screams from the crowd, from the people in the parade. And people started to rush, to run away with tears in their eyes, crying.
Tenorio said he saw around ten people on the ground, children and adults, who appeared to have been hit by the vehicle.
“It happened so fast,” he said. “It was pretty awful.”
The Waukesha School District canceled classes on Monday, saying they will have “additional counselors available” for students and staff.
The city has also advised anyone who may need to speak to someone experiencing the scene to call 211.
An FBI spokesperson said his Milwaukee field office was aware of the incident and local and state authorities were leading the response. The White House is also monitoring the situation, according to a statement.
At Twitter, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said he and his wife “are praying for Waukesha tonight and for all the children, families and community members affected by this senseless act.”
A vehicle drove through a Christmas parade in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha on Sunday evening.
The parade is sponsored by the city’s Chamber of Commerce. This year’s edition was the 59th of the event which takes place each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Waukesha is a western suburb of Milwaukee, and about 55 miles (90 kilometers) north of Kenosha, where Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on Friday of charges resulting from the shooting of three men during the unrest in that city in August 2020.