Live updates: At least 29 injured, ‘some’ killed as SUV drives into holiday parade. A mass causality incident has been declared in downtown Waukesha.
WAUKESHA, Wis. At least 29 people have been injured when a driver plowed through a police barricade and into the Waukesha Christmas Parade.
A mass casualty incident has been declared in downtown Waukesha.
Police said “some” victims were killed, but they have not said how many.
At 7:05 p.m., police sent an emergency alert telling anyone within a half-mile radius of the 5 points downtown area to shelter in place and wait for an all-clear.
They said that was put into place as officers collected evidence.
It has since been lifted.
Roads in downtown Waukesha were expected to be closed until at least Monday afternoon.
The SUV crashed into the crowd about 4:40 p.m. Sunday.
At least 40 people were reported to have been down at one point.
Paramedics took 23 injured to six area hospitals.
They included 11 adults and 12 children.
Others took themselves for treatment.
Children’s Wisconsin said it received 15 patients and had no fatalities.
Aurora Medical Center-Summit said it received 13 patients.
Of those, three were listed in critical condition, four were in serious condition and six were listed in fair condition.
Ascension said one patient was treated and released from its Elmbrook hospital.
Waukesha Memorial Hospital deferred questions about the number of injured patients it received to police.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee said one Catholic priest was among the injured.
A witness told WISN 12 she saw a driver in an SUV “barreling down the street” into people who were marching in the parade.
The woman said the driver hit the “Milwaukee Dancing Grannies” and at least one person flipped over the hood of the SUV.
The witness said she saw at least four injured people not moving on the ground.
She said the driver kept going and did not stop.
The woman said she saw nurses run to help those who were on the ground.
Some were unresponsive, she said.
One nurse told WISN 12 she knew two victims died.
Another witness estimated the SUV was going about 40 mph when it hit the crowd of people.
Video on Facebook showed the SUV swerve around the back of the Waukesha South Band and hit some band students.
“The FBI Milwaukee field office is aware of the reporting of an incident in Waukesha. The local and state authorities are leading the response,” the agency tweeted.
“It’s unknown at this time if this incident has any nexus to terrorism,” the police chief said.
Police said the suspect’s vehicle “was recovered.”
It was found in a driveway on West College Avenue near Carroll University.
One officer fired shots at the suspect’s fleeing vehicle.
A “person of interest” was identified but not named.
SUV Christmas Parade Suspect
The suspect did not appear to be armed or fire any gunshots.
The police chief said the “person of interest” was in custody.
He said the scene was safe and there were no ongoing threats.
It’s not clear why the driver plowed into the parade crowds or if there were any additional suspects still at-large.
A family reunification point was at the Metro Transit Center on Bank Street, police said.
Any family members looking for their loved ones can call 262-524-3831.
All Waukesha Public Schools will be closed Monday.
“The District will have additional counselors available during the school day at all buildings for all students that may be in need of support services,” administrators said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with everyone impacted, with all who witnessed the event, and with our entire community.”
The parade was streamed live on Facebook.
The 58th annual event began at 4 p.m.
This year’s theme was “Comfort and Joy.”
“The White House is closely monitoring the situation in Waukesha and our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by this terrible incident. We have reached out to state and local officials to offer any support and assistance as needed,” a White House official told ABC News.
“Kathy and I are praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act,” Gov Tony Evers tweeted. “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.”
“I have been in contact with Mayor Reilly and offered any resources the county could provide. I have also spoken with the Governor who offers his prayers and assistance,” Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow tweeted. “This is an unspeakable tragedy, affecting us all as we work to overcome an extremely challenging two years and resume our cherished holiday traditions. Keep the families affected in your thoughts as we work to offer whatever support we can.”
Carroll University was locked down for two hours Sunday evening.
It has since reopened but administrators have canceled classes for this upcoming week.
Police have not said if they have arrested the driver.
No other details have been released.
The next police update was scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday.