WAUKESHA, Wisc. (NEXSTAR) — Fatalities have been confirmed after a driver of an SUV plowed through a Christmas parade in a Milwaukee suburb, according to the city’s police chief. A live video feed of the Holiday Parade from the City of Waukesha showed a red SUV breaking through barriers and speeding into the roadway where the parade was taking place.
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said the SUV struck more than 20 people, including children. Fire Chief Steve Howard said that 11 adults and 12 “pediatric patients” were transported to nearby hospitals.
Thompson and Howard declined to comment on the number of fatalities until families of the victims could be notified. One person of interest is in custody in the case, according to Thompson.
Several social media reports claim shots were fired from the SUV; however, Thompson clarified during a press conference that the shots were fired by a police officer attempting to stop the SUV. No one was injured by the gunfire.
Gov. Tony Evers tweeted that he and his wife, Kathy were “praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act.”
“I’m grateful for the first responders and folks who acted quickly to help, and we are in contact with local partners as we await more information,” he said.
Angelito Tenorio, a West Allis alderman, told the AP that he was watching the parade with his family when they saw the SUV come speeding into the area.
“Then we heard a loud bang,” Tenorio said. “And after that, we just heard deafening cries and screams from the crowd, from the people at the parade. And people started rushing, running away with tears in their eyes crying.”
Tenorio said he saw about 10 people, children and adults, on the ground who appeared to have been hit by the vehicle.
“It just happened so fast,” he said. “It was pretty horrifying.”
Thompson said it is a “very fluid investigation.”