Nov 22, 2021: Police say a sports utility vehicle plowed into a Christmas parade in the town of of Waukesha in the US state of Wisconsin, killing at least 20 people, including children, and causing “some fatalities.”
The incident occurred Sunday evening at about 4:39 p.m. (22:39 GMT) in the town of Waukesha, about 32 kilometers (20 miles) west of Milwaukee.
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said a person of interest was in custody and the suspect’s vehicle had been recovered. “A red SUV went to our Christmas parade we were holding in downtown. More than 20 people were injured,” Thompson told reporters.
“Some of the people were children and there have been some deaths as a result of this incident.” Asked about the death, Thompson said: “I don’t have the exact number at the moment.”
He added that it was not known if the incident was linked to terrorism, but that earlier the order for shelter in place for the town of about 72,000 town had been lifted.
A video posted online shows a red SUV plowing through the parade, with more than a dozen people seen fleeing before crowds ran off the sidewalk to offer help. In another video, police were seen shooting at a vehicle as it collided with a roadblock. The local CBS affiliate later posted a picture on Twitter showing a red SUV with a broken hood and a front fender parked in a driveway.
One witness, Corey Monteho, a member of the Waukesha School District Board, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his daughter’s dance troupe was hit by an SUV.
Another, Chris Germaine, co-owner of Aspire Dance Center Studios, told The Associated Press that there were about 70 girls in the parade, all of whom were drawn in wagons between the ages of 2 and 18. Jermaine, who had his 3-year-old daughter at the parade, said he was driving to the entrance when he saw a Maroon SUV that was “blazing past us.”
He said a police officer followed him on foot. Germaine said he jumped out of her own SUV and picked up the girls who were with him. “There were small children lying on the street, several of the parade members were CPR police officers and EMTs,” he said.
According to ABC’s Milwaukee WISNTV, an eyewitness said the driver also hit “Dancing Grannies”, and at least one person overturned on the hood of the SUV.
Photos and videos of Waukesha circulating on Twitter show police cars and ambulances crowding the street decorated with Christmas lights after the incident. As evening fell, people gathered on the sidewalks. Thompson said some of the injured were taken to hospital by ambulance, some by police and others by family and friends.
The newspaper said police officers ran on the road and asked parade goers to take shelter in shops. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said he and his wife, Kathy, are “praying tonight for Waukesha and all the children, families and community members affected by this senseless act.”
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