Vehicles Smashes into Wisconsin Christmas Parade Crowd, Killing Five, Wounding Dozens

POLITICS & POLICY
Chairs are left folded on Main Street after a car plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wis., November 22, 2021. (Cheney Orr/Reuters)

A vehicle smashed into a crowd of people attending a Christmas parade in Wisconsin early Sunday evening, killing five and wounding over 40 people.

The horrific incident happened shortly after 4:40 p.m. local time in Waukesha, Wis. Of the many people who were injured, at least a dozen were children. Emergency personnel rushed to respond to victims, escorting them into ambulances. People sought shelter in nearby shops amid the mayhem. Police quickly flooded to the scene to investigate.

The police had identified a suspect and detained the individual as of Sunday night, Police Chief Daniel Thompson said during a press briefing. He added that terror is still being considered as a potential motive for the crime.

“The Waukesha Christmas parade was taking place when a red SUV drove through the barricades west bound heading down Main Street. We’re no longer looking for a suspect vehicle. We do have a person of interest in custody at the moment,” Thompson commented.

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“Today we experienced a horrible, senseless tragedy,” Waukesha mayor Shawn Reilly said at a Sunday night press briefing. “A parade is a celebration for our community. Today our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration.”

Bystanders heard gunfire as the SUV barreled through the crowd and believed the driver had opened fire. However, the police later confirmed that they shot at the vehicle in an attempt to disable it. Thompson added that no attendees were hit by the gun fire.

“At the Waukesha Holiday parade and a car just broke through the police line, plowing through pedestrians and firing rounds out the window,” Zach Heisler tweeted. “Family and I are safe. Happened 20 feet in front of us.”

Some parade participants were among the victims, a handful of witnesses stated. One person reported that the vehicle ran over “several elderly women,” members of the performing local group “The Dancing Grannies,” who made an appearance in the parade.

Another witness corroborated on the phone that at least four of “The Dancing Grannies” laid on the ground immobilized after they were hit. Another report said that one of the dance members flew over the hood of the car on impact, according to Courtney Sisk of WISN.

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