More than 20 people were injured when an SUV drove through a crowded Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday (Nov 21), the local police chief said, and at least one person was killed, a local CBS affiliate reporter tweeted.
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said the suspect vehicle had been recovered and there were no further threats after the incident in Waukesha, about 20 miles (32 km) west of Milwaukee.
People near downtown Waukesha were being asked, however, to shelter in place, local media reported. The nearby Carroll University campus tweeted it was “on lockdown due to an ongoing incident. Please stay safe and in your location until further notice and shelter in place.”
“A red SUV drove into our Christmas parade that we were holding downtown. More than 20 individuals were injured as a result of this incident,” Thompson told reporters.
Authorities have identified a person of interest in the case, he added, without giving further details.
He said some of the injured were taken to hospital by ambulance, others by police and still more by family and friends.
Some witnesses and local media reported shots had been fired from the vehicle as it careened through the parade. Reuters could not immediately verify that information.
CHILLING VIDEO: These images show the moment a driver in an SUV plowed through the Waukesha Christmas Parade this afternoon. At least 20 people have been injured. We're waiting on more updates. Here's what we know: https://t.co/4tVqtt7Uya pic.twitter.com/EAjT1HYfUC
— WISN 12 NEWS (@WISN12News) November 22, 2021
A video posted online of the incident showed a red sport utility vehicle plowing through the parade, appearing to run over more than a dozen people.
In a second video, police appeared to open fire on the vehicle as it crashed through street barriers.
The local CBS affiliate later showed a picture on Twitter of what appeared to be the involved red SUV with its hood crumpled and front fender hanging off, parked in a driveway.
A woman told Fox6 TV station that the SUV hit a dance team of girls between 9 and 15 years old. She said the immediate reaction was silence, followed by screaming, running and checking on those injured, Fox6 reported.
One witness said the driver hit the “Dancing Grannies” and at least one person flipped over the hood of the SUV, according to Milwaukee’s WISN-TV, an ABC affiliate.
Another witness estimated the SUV was going about 40 mph (64 kph) when it hit the crowd, the TV station said.
Photos and videos of Waukesha circulating on Twitter showed police cars and ambulances crowding a street decked out with Christmas lights in the aftermath of the incident. Bundled up people huddled on sidewalks as dusk fell.
The incident occurred shortly before 5pm (2300 GMT) (Singapore time 7am), the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“As we were walking back in between the buildings … we saw an SUV cross over, just put the pedal to the metal and just zooming full speed along the parade route. And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle,” Angelito Tenorio, an alderman in nearby West Allis, told the newspaper.
Police officers ran down the street, telling parade watchers to take shelter in stores, the newspaper said.