At least five are dead after an SUV drove through a crowd gathered for the 58th annual Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, a suburb outside of Milwaukee, Sunday, Nov. 21.
On Twitter late Sunday, city officials issued a statement with the confirmed death toll so far, adding that over 40 people were injured. “However, these numbers may change as we collect additional information,” the statement added. In a new tweet shared Monday morning, the city said a press conference will be held later today.
Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the incident took place around 4:39 p.m., when an individual in a red SUV plowed through parade barriers, hitting over 20 people. Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson claimed one officer fired his weapon at the suspect vehicle to try to stop it; Thompson added, “No bystanders were injured as a result of the weapon discharge.”
A suspect vehicle was recovered and a “person of interest” was taken into custody, but police have not identified them or offered any other details.
“Today our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration,” Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly said (per The New York Times). “I’m deeply saddened to know that so many in our community went to a parade but ended up dealing with injury and heartache.”
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said, “Kathy and I are praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act. I’m grateful for the first responders and folks who acted quickly to help, and we are in contact with local partners as we await more information.”
Details about the victims were still emerging. Children’s Wisconsin, a pediatric hospital, said it had admitted 15 people, although did not offer any information about their condition. Video appeared to show the SUV striking one group marching in the parade, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies; on Facebook, the group said, “Members of the group and volunteers were impacted and we are waiting for word on their condition.” The Catholic Community of Waukesha also confirmed that some parishioners were hospitalized with injuries, while the Archdiocese of Milwaukee said a Catholic priest and “multiple parishioners and Waukesha Catholic school children” were also injured.