SUV Crashes Into US Christmas Parade, Multiple Casualties

A red Ford pickup truck rammed into a group of people at a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing several and injuring 27 others.

A video shared on social media showed the moment the SUV traveling at high speed crashed into people marching in the middle of the street. The incident took place on Sunday afternoon, during the annual Christmas parade in Waukesha, located about 20 miles west of Milwaukee.

Police said a person of interest was in custody, adding that they did not believe the driver was armed despite earlier gunshots reports.

According to the fire department chief, 27 people were injured, including 11 adults and 12 children. Officers took them to six different hospitals in the area. 

They also included several older women from a “Dancing Grannies” float, a priest and schoolgirl dance team members, authorities said.

Milwaukee Children’s Wisconsin Children’s Hospital said it was treating 15 people who had been injured in the parade. There were no fatalities until Sunday night, it added.

Aurora Medical Center-Summit, a hospital located in Waukesha County, told the media it was treating 13 patients, including three in critical condition, four in serious condition, and six in fair condition.

Police told reporters they would release information about the victims after notifying relatives about their deaths.

The tragic incident came just a couple of days after a US court acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of all murder charges for shooting and killing two men during protests against a police shooting of a black man in Kenosha, about 55 miles south of Waukesha.

US authorities were forced to put security forces on high alert after Rittenhouse’s acquittal fueled political and racial divisions across the country.

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said the SUV had rammed into the crowd at 4:39 p.m. local time, exactly 39 minutes after the event began.

Later, at 7:15 p.m. local time, the Waukesha Police Department warned people through a cell phone alert to shelter “within a half-mile radius of the 5 points downtown.” Local media reported that the shelter order remained in effect while police investigators cleared and searched the scene.