Police and other authorities have a “person of interest” in custody after an SUV slammed into Christmas parade marchers and spectators in a Milwaukee suburb on Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring another 40.
No arrests have been made yet, according to multiple reports, but police have not yet ruled out terrorism. Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson said Sunday evening that a person of interest was in custody.
“This is still a very fluid investigation,” he told reporters.
As for those injured and killed, “these numbers may change as we collect additional information. Many people have self-transported to area hospitals,” the city of Waukesha noted in a Twitter post early Monday.
Children’s Wisconsin, a pediatric hospital in the area, noted that it had treated at least 15 patients stemming from the incident.
The Waukesha, Wis., incident occurred late Sunday afternoon, just two days after a jury in Kenosha, Wis., found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty of murder and other charges in the shooting deaths and wounding of three men in August 2020 after he and his defense team claimed self-defense. Authorities have not yet said that the two incidents are related in any way, however.
NBC News reported, meanwhile, that it is possible the suspect driver was fleeing from a previous incident involving a knifing, but that, too, has not yet been confirmed.
Several law enforcement sources told the network that the person of interest being questioned throughout the night may also have a “significant criminal history.”
Thompson told reporters that one of his officers fired at the vehicle in an attempt to stop it but failed. Witnesses told officers that the vehicle, seen in multiple video clips posted online to be a red SUV, raced along the parade route and never slowed, even as the driver slammed into a schoolgirls’ dance troupe as well as older women who made up the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. The SUV also plowed into families sitting along the route.
“It hit at least two people right away and rolled over them. And then continued down the road to People’s Park which is at the end of the block — and then kept going, it didn’t stop,” Angela O’Boyle, who lives in an apartment above the parade route and was taking video at the time, told CNN.
Corey Montiho, a member of the Waukesha school board, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel his daughter was among the dance troupe that consisted of girls between the ages of 9 and 15.
“They were pom-poms and shoes and spilled hot chocolate everywhere. I had to go from one crumpled body to the other to find my daughter,” he told the paper. “My wife and two daughters were almost hit.”
He added, “I saw bodies flying. I ran down the parade route to find my girls. Addison, my daughter, heard someone yell ‘car’ and ran away. The girls right next to her were hit.”
“I was there. It was little kids and families… evil is real, fight it every chance you get,” Montiho noted.
Fox News reported that the network has the name and a photo of the possible suspect but had withheld publishing the information while awaiting confirmation. The network also reported that at least 11 adults and 12 children were injured in the incident.
Meanwhile, a separate march was held in Kenosha, which is around 55 miles south of Waukesha, in protest of the Rittenhouse verdict.
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