US Police: 'Some' killed when SUV hits Christmas parade
Joy turns to horror as SUV speeds into Christmas parade
WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A joyous scene of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats and waving pompoms turned deadly in an instant, as an SUV sped through a barricade and into a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee while spectators watched in horror. One video showed a woman screaming, “Oh my God!” repeatedly as a group of young dancers was struck Sunday. A father talked of going “from one crumpled body to the other” in search of his daughter. Members of a “Dancing Grannies” club were among those hit. © Provided by Associated Press A police officer uses a flashlight while looking for evidence in downtown Waukesha, Wis.
WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — An SUV driver sped through a police line and into a parade of Christmas marchers on Sunday, hitting more than 20 adults and children in a horrifying scene captured by the city’s livestream and the cellphones of onlookers.
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said “some” people had been killed but would not give an exact number. A person was in custody, he said, but he did not give any indication of motive.
Waukesha parade crash suspect's bail raises questions
WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — The suspect in a Christmas parade crash in suburban Milwaukee that killed five people was free on $1,000 bail posted just two days before the deadly event, a fact that is leading to a review of what happened and renewed calls for giving judges more power to set higher bails. One pending case against Darrell Brooks Jr. included an allegation that he deliberately hit a woman with his car in early November after a fight. Prosecutors in Milwaukee County on Monday called their bail recommendation “inappropriately low” given the facts of that case and the Sunday crash, and said they would review it.
One video shows a woman screaming, “Oh my God!” repeatedly after a group of girls wearing Santa hats and dancing with white pompoms is struck. Another shows the SUV plowing into members of a marching band, their music replaced with terrified screams
Fire Chief Steven Howard said 11 adults and 12 children were injured and transported to hospitals by his department. It was unknown how many people were taken to hospitals by others. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin said it received 15 patients from the parade and no reported fatalities as of 8 p.m.
'Mama, are you OK?' In Waukesha, minutes of terror recounted
Hours before it started, they were already there — people sitting on lawn chairs or wrapped in blankets, awaiting an event the city's mayor described as straight out of Norman Rockwell. The Waukesha Christmas Parade, a tradition in its Milwaukee suburb for six decades, was to be particularly special this time around after its pandemic-related cancellation last year. Stepping off a few blocks to the east, parade participants were in the holiday spirit, too. Members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a crowd favorite on the Wisconsin parade circuit, donned white fur hats and waved white pompoms as they danced down Main Street to “Jingle Bell Rock.
Police also had custody of the vehicle, Thompson said. The investigation was ongoing, with assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
“What took place in Waukesha today is sickening, and I have every confidence that those responsible will be brought to justice,” tweeted the state's top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Josh Kaul.
As the SUV broke through barricades, a Waukesha police officer fired his gun in an attempt to stop the vehicle, Thompson said. No bystanders were injured and Thompson said he did not know if the driver was struck by the officer's bullets.
One video shows the moment the SUV broke through the barricades and the sound of what appears to be several gunshots.
Wisconsin Christmas parade live updates: 81-year-old, 79-year-old among the 5 killed
Five people were killed and more than 40 others injured when a car plowed into a Christmas parade in Wisconsin.The suspect, 39-year-old Darrell Brooks, is in custody, authorities said.
The video taken when the pompom dancers got struck ends with a group of people tending to one of the girls who is on the ground.
Corey Montiho, a Waukesha school district board member, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his daughter’s dance team was hit by the SUV.
“They were pompoms and shoes and spilled hot chocolate everywhere. I had to go from one crumpled body to the other to find my daughter,” he said. “My wife and two daughters were almost hit. Please pray for everybody. Please pray.”
One entry in the parade, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, posted on its Facebook page that “members of the group and volunteers were impacted and we are waiting for word on their conditions.” The group’s profile describes them as a “group of grannies that meet once a week to practice routines for summer and winter parades.”
'Some fatalities,' more than 20 hurt after vehicle plows through parade in Wisconsin
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Chris Germain, co-owner of the Aspire Dance Center studio, had about 70 girls in the parade ranging from as young as 2 being pulled in wagons to age 18. Germain, whose own 3-year-old daughter was in the parade, said he was driving at the head of their entry when he saw a maroon SUV that “just blazed right past us.” A police officer came by on foot chasing after, he said. Germain said he jumped out of his own SUV and gathered the girls who were with him.
“There were small children laying all over the road, there were police officers and EMTs doing CPR on multiple members of the parade," he said.
Angelito Tenorio, a West Allis alderman who is running for Wisconsin state treasurer, said 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.”
The Waukesha school district canceled classes Monday and said in a notice on its website that extra counselors would be on hand for students and staff. The parade’s list of entries included cheer, dance and band entries associated with district schools.
What we know about what happened at the Wisconsin Christmas parade
The celebratory sounds of a Wisconsin Christmas parade were interrupted by terrified screams Sunday after a vehicle plowed into participants and spectators gathered for the event in Waukesha, a city about 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee. © Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel/AP Police investigate at the scene of a crash involving multiple people and injuries at a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wis., on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP) At least five people were killed and more than 40 were injured in the chaos, city officials said.
Gov. Tony Evers said he and his wife, Kathy, were “praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act.”
Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, who was at the parade but left just before the incident, called it “an unspeakable tragedy, affecting us all as we work to overcome an extremely challenging two years and resume our cherished holiday traditions.”
The parade is sponsored by the city’s Chamber of Commerce. This year’s edition was the 59th of the event that’s held each year the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Waukesha is a western suburb of Milwaukee, and about 55 miles north of Kenosha, whereof charges stemming from the shooting of three men during unrest in that city in August 2020.
___ Bauer reported from Madison, Wis. Associated Press reporter Doug Glass contributed from Minneapolis.
More than 20 injured after car drives into Christmas parade in Wisconsin: Police .
More than 20 were injured when an SUV sped into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Sunday, police said. Your browser does not support this video At 4:39 p.m. local time, a red SUV drove into the town's Christmas parade, Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said at a press conference Sunday evening. © City of Waukesha People watch a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisc., on Nov. 21, 2021, shortly before an incident where a car drove into the parade, injuring more than 20, according to police.