A scene of marching bands with children everywhere, turned deadly in an instant, as an SUV sped through barricades and into a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing at least five people and injuring more than 40 others.
The city of Waukesha posted on its social media accounts late Sunday that it could confirm at least five died and more than 40 were injured, while noting that it was still collecting information. The city’s statement also noted that many people took themselves to hospitals. The city did not release any additional information about those who died.
A “person of interest” was in custody, Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said, but he gave no details about the person or any possible motive. The investigation was ongoing, with assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
“What took place in Waukesha today is sickening, and I have every confidence that those responsible will be brought to justice,” Attorney General Josh Kaul, the state’s top law enforcement officer, tweeted.
The horror was recorded by the city’s livestream and onlookers’ cellphones. One video shows the moment the SUV broke through the barricades and the sound of what appears to be several gunshots. Thompson said a Waukesha police officer fired his gun to try to stop the vehicle. No bystanders were injured by the gunfire, and Thompson said he did not know if the driver was struck by the officer’s bullets.
Another video shows a young child dancing in the street as the SUV speeds by, just a few feet from her, before it hurtles into parade participants a few hundred feet ahead. One video, of dancers with pompoms, ends with a group of people tending to a girl on the ground.
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.”
President Joe Biden was briefed Sunday night, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Twitter. Assistance is being offered to local officials, she said, and “Our hearts are with the families and the entire community.”