MILWAUKEE — An SUV sped into a Christmas parade in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, leaving multiple people dead and at least 20 people injured, authorities said Sunday.

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said the investigation was ongoing, but that a “suspect vehicle” was recovered and that there is a person of interest in custody at the moment.

Thompson explained that police took some injured people to hospitals while Thompson described how others were taken to family members.As “very tragic” or “very chaotic.”However, he stated that he did not know the exact number of people who died but there were still fatalities.

11 adults and 12 children were transported to local hospitals by the Waukesha Fire Department, Fire Chief Steve Howard said at a news conference. 

Waukesha Police, about 20 miles west Milwaukee said that it is safe and secure. . 

This happened at one of the most beloved annual events in the city. The red SUV drove down the street and crashed into parade participants.

A red SUV speeds into the street where the parade is taking place, according to videos posted on social media.

Thompson stated that a police officer shot gunshots at an SUV to try and stop it. No one was hurt by the shots. According to Thompson, police aren’t convinced that shots were fired at the SUV. 

In the city’s footage, taken from a distance, the SUV speeds into the parade just behind a school marching band. Reporter at the scene reported that the red SUV drove down the street and struck many people. 

Corey Montiho is a Waukesha district school board member who said that the SUV hit his daughter’s dance group.

They were covered in hot chocolate and pom-poms. To find my daughter, I had to walk from crumpled bodies to another,” he explained. “My wife, and our two girls were nearly killed. We ask for prayers for all. Pray for everyone.

My family is safe, but others aren’t. As I was holding the head of a little girl, her eyes were open and she began to bleed from her ears. She collapsed and I was there to hold her mother. Please pray.”

Thompson stated that it is not known if this incident was connected with terrorism. 

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‘Deafening cries and screams’: Witness describes the chaotic scene

Angelito Tenorio, a West Allis alderman who is running for Wisconsin state treasurer, said he had just finished marching in the parade with his family and friends before he saw the car drive through the parade.

“We saw an SUV cross over, just put the pedal to the metal and just zooming full speed along the parade route,” Tenorio said. “And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle. And then we saw people running away or stopping crying, and there are people on the ground who looked like they’d been hit by the vehicle.”

Tenorio claimed that about 10 people were on the ground and appeared to be hit by the car.

He added, “It just all happened so fast.”

Alderman Don Paul Browne said he had been marching in the front of the parade and was almost home when his wife texted asking if he was okay.

He said, “I’m in shock.” This parade attracts people from all parts of the country, including Jefferson County. I am numb. It’s quite upsetting.

He stated, “My natural instinct was to offer assistance, but this may be the last thing that the police will need.” My best effort is to be an advocate for others. Now we have to think about shootings. It is so hard for me.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said he and his wife, Kathy, were “praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act.”

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, who was at the parade but left just before the incident, called it “an unspeakable tragedy, affecting us all as we work to overcome an extremely challenging two years and resume our cherished holiday traditions.”

The parade is sponsored by the city’s Chamber of Commerce. This year’s edition was the 59th of the event that’s held each year the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Waukesha is a western suburb of Milwaukee, and about 55 miles north of Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted Friday of charges stemming from the shooting of three men during unrest in that city in August 2020.

Contributing: Cathy Kozlowicz and Kaylee Staral, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; The Associated Press

Source: USAToday.com

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