(Wakisha) — An SUV rolled into a Christmas parade in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha on Sunday, injuring more than 20 people, the city’s police chief said.
Commander Dan Thompson said an investigation was underway, but a “suspicious vehicle” had been found. Some of the wounded were taken to hospitals by police, Thompson said, while others were taken by family members.
“We have an important person to look forward to at this time,” Thompson said. It was not clear whether the person was being held or not. Thompson deferred asking questions until a later briefing.
Mayor Sean Riley told WITI in Milwaukee that he doesn’t believe there is any current risk to the public.
Police in Waukesha, about 20 miles west of Milwaukee, urged people to avoid the downtown area.
A live video of the parade from Waukesha, as well as videos taken by parade attendees, showed a red SUV breaking through barriers and speeding down the road where the parade was taking place.
A video taken along the parade route showed a group of apparently teenage girls dancing in polo costumes and wearing Santa Claus hats. The SUV enters the set while the person filming shouts, “Oh my God!” Repeatedly. The video shows people tending to at least one girl on the floor.
Another video shows the SUV hitting what appear to be members of a marching band and several others along the parade route before driving. The sound of the band walking before the SUV approached was replaced by a shout.
Waukesha School Board member Corey Montehu told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his daughter’s dance team was hit by the SUV.
“It was pom-poms and shoes and we spilled hot chocolate everywhere. I had to go from one crumbled body to the next to find my daughter.” My wife and daughters were almost injured. Please pray for everyone. Please pray.”
Angelito Tenorio, an alderman in West Ellis who is running for treasurer of Wisconsin, told the Associated Press that he was watching the show with his family when they saw the SUV speeding into the area.
Then we heard a loud bang,” Tenorio said. “And then, we just heard deafening screams and screams from the crowd, from the people at the parade. And the people started rushing and running away with tears in their eyes crying.”
Tenorio said he saw about 10 people, children and adults, on the ground and it seemed they were hit by a car.
“It happened very quickly,” he said. “It was so terrifying.”
The show is sponsored by the City Chamber of Commerce. This year’s edition was the 59th edition of the event, which is held each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Waukesha is a western suburb of Milwaukee, about 55 miles north of Kenosha, where Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted Friday of charges relating to the shooting of three men during unrest in that city in August 2020.