Source: Jack Phillips
A group that attended a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, confirmed that some of its members were killed when an SUV ran into crowds during the event on Sunday night.
“The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devasted by this terrible [tragedy] with … loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade,” the group continued. “Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness. While performing the grannies enjoyed hearing the [crowd’s] cheers and applause which certainly brought smiles to their faces and warmed their hearts.”
The Dancing Grannies continued to say that “our hearts are heavy at this most difficult time” and urged people to keep them and their families in “your thoughts and prayers.”
Authorities have not yet released any information, including names, about the victims.
At least five people died and dozens more were injured when a red SUV raced down the parade route before striking crowds of people and participants, including children, said officials.
One person of interest is in custody, officials said. However, police have not released the individual’s name or a possible motive.
Several videos of the incident were uploaded or were being live-streamed at the time. A video uploaded by Angela O’Boyle, who was watching from an apartment balcony, shows the SUV hitting several people in a marching band before driving away. In the clip, people can be heard screaming or are seen running away.
A video uploaded by the City of Waukesha showed a red SUV driving at high speeds through the parade, while another video that was posted to Twitter on Sunday night showed the vehicle narrowly missing a small child.
Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson told reporters that a police officer discharged their weapon in an attempt to stop the SUV driver. No bystanders were hit by the gunfire, Thompson said, as he said that officials do not believe the driver was firing shots out the window.
“As community members gathered to celebrate this holiday season with friends, family and neighbors, a driver broke through barricades and struck many adults and children at the 2021 Waukesha Christmas parade,” a statement from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said.
“While much is still unknown, including the full extent of injuries and the number of lives lost” his statement added, “the people of Wisconsin pray for the Waukesha community and all those affected, and mourn the loss of life that occurred as a result of this senseless tragedy.”
The FBI, meanwhile, confirmed in a statement to news outlets that it is aware of the incident.