More than 20 injured after SUV crashes into crowd near Milwaukee during Christmas parade

WAUKESHA, Wisconsin – An SUV sped into a Christmas parade in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha on Sunday, injuring more than 20 people, the city police chief said.

The injured were apparently children, members of a marching band and a dance group, according to witnesses and videos published online of the incident.

Chief Dan Thompson said the investigation was ongoing but a “suspicious vehicle” had been recovered. Some of the injured were taken to hospitals by the police and others by family members.

“We have one person of interest that we are currently investigating,” Thompson said.

It was not clear if the person was in custody; Thompson postponed questions until a later briefing.

Mayor Shawn Reilly told WITI in Milwaukee that he did not believe there was any continuing threat to the public.

Police in Waukesha, about 20 miles west of Milwaukee, told people to avoid downtown.

A live video feed of the parade from the city of Waukesha, as well as videos captured by parade attendees, showed a red SUV breaking through barriers and spinning onto the street where the parade was taking place.

A video captured along the parade route showed a group of teenagers dancing with white pompoms and wearing Christmas hats. The SUV plows into the group while the filming person shouts “Oh my God!”. over and over. The video shows people taking care of at least one of the girls on the ground.

Another video shows how the SUV meets apparently members of a brass band and several others along the parade route before continuing. The sound of the marching band that can be heard before the SUV approaches is replaced by screams.

Corey Montiho, a board member for the Waukesha school district, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his daughter’s dance team was hit by the SUV.

“There were pompoms and shoes and hot chocolate was spilled all over the place. I had to go from one wrinkled body to another to find my daughter, ”he said. “My wife and my two daughters were almost hit. Please pray for everyone. Please pray. “

Angelito Tenorio, a West Allis city councilor running for Wisconsin state treasurer, told The Associated Press that he was watching the parade with his family when they saw the SUV spinning into the area.

“Then we heard a loud bang,” said Tenorio. “And after that we only heard deafening screams and screams from the crowd, from the people at the parade. And people began to hurry and ran away with tears in their eyes. “

Tenorio said he saw about 10 people, children and adults, on the ground, who were apparently hit by the vehicle.

“It was just so quick,” he said. “It was pretty terrifying.”

Governor Tony Evers said he and his wife, Kathy, “prayed tonight for Waukesha and all of the children, families and community members affected by this pointless act.”

Waukesha district chief Paul Farrow, who attended the parade but left shortly before the incident, called it “an unspeakable tragedy that affects us all as we work to overcome two extremely challenging years and resume our cherished holiday traditions” .

Waukesha is a western suburb of Milwaukee and about 90 kilometers north of Kenosha, where Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on Friday of the charges of shooting three men during the unrest in that city in August 2020.

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