‘Some fatalities’ as SUV drives into parade in Wisconsin

There were an unknown number of fatalities and more than 20 adults and children were injured Sunday afternoon when a sport-utility vehicle accelerated into a Christmas parade in a suburb of Milwaukee.

At a press conference Sunday night, authorities said 11 adults and 12 children had been taken to hospitals from the parade in downtown Waukesha, Wisconsin.

“There were some fatalities,” fire chief Steve Howard said. City officials declined to specify the number killed as they were still trying to notify families. A person of interest had been apprehended, police said.

At about 4.30pm local time, the suspect drove a red SUV through parade barricades and accelerated into marchers, according to Waukesha police chief Dan Thompson, who also said it was not known whether the incident was related to terrorism.

A video posted online showed the SUV bursting through barricades as police appeared to open fire on it. A separate video showed the vehicle accelerating down the main street into a marching band, mowing down several people as spectators lining the street screamed.

“Today our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration,” said Waukesha mayor Shawn Reilly. “I walked in the parade at the beginning. I saw all the happy children sitting on the curb. I saw all the happy parents behind their children. I can still see the smiling faces.”

Local media showed a picture on Twitter of what appeared to be the red SUV, with its bonnet crumpled, parked in a driveway.

Children’s Wisconsin, a children’s hospital in Milwaukee, said it was treating 15 patients from the Waukesha incident and that there had been no deaths yet.

“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,” Angelito Tenorio, an alderman in nearby West Allis, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle.”

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