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Multiple people are dead and more than 20 injured after a vehicle plowed into a Christmas parade on Sunday in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Officials said that 11 adults and 12 children were taken to hospital, with “some fatalities”, but declined to say how were dead because families are still being notified.
Video footage shows a red SUV plowing at high speed into band members and cheerleaders marching four abreast in close formation, hitting multiple people and scattering the crowd.
Police chief Dan Thompson said his department had taken one person of interest into custody and seized the vehicle. He said he didn’t yet know if there is any connection to terrorism.
The police chief did not believe the SUV driver had fired a weapon following early reports of gunshots. He said that one officer had fired at the vehicle in an attempt to stop it.
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White House releases statement after Waukesha incident
“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,” the White House said in a statement. “We have reached out to state and local officials to offer any support and assistance as needed.”
Wisconsin attorney general vows ‘justice’
Wisconsin’s attorney general Josh Kaul has clearly described this incident as a deliberate attack, vowing to bring whoever is responsible to justice.
15 children injured
An update on those numbers: CBS 58 reporter Kristen Barbaresi says that 15 children were injured, but none have died at this point.
Wisconsin governor: ‘We’re praying for Waukesha tonight’
Wisconsin governor Tony Evers has issued a statement:
Fire department activated mass casualty plan
Fire chief Steven Howard said there were already firefighters on the scene when the attack happened as part of the parade.
His department activated its mass casualty plan, rapidly calling in engines from 12 other fire departments.
Police chief’s full statement: ‘There were some fatalities’
Here is Waukesha police chief Dan Thompon’s full statement at a press conference just now.
“The Waukesha Christmas parade was taking place when a red SUV drove through the barricades, westbound, heading down down Main Street.
“The vehicle struck more than 20 individuals. Some of the individuals were children, and there were some fatalities as a result of this incident.
“We will not be releasing information on fatalities at this time while we are waiting notifying the family members of the deceased.
“An officer did discharge his weapon at the suspect vehicle to try to stop the vehicle. No bystanders were injured as a result of the weapon discharge. The officer involved has been with the department for six and a half years.
“Victims were transformed by the fire department to the hospital; Chief Howard will speak on that. Police Officers also transferred victims to the hospital, and family members also transferred victims from the scene to the hospital.
“We’re no longer looking for a suspect vehicle; we do have a person of interest in custody at the moment. But this is still a very fluid investigation.
“I was present at this tragic event and saw first hand the resiliency of the community coming together.”
We don’t know if this is terrorism, says police chief
Polisiehoof Dan Thompson said he doesn’t know yet if there was any connection to terrorism here.
He said that police do not believe the driver fired a gun from the vehicle, as some early reports had indicated.
In plaas daarvan, hy het gesê, one police officer shot at the SUV in an attempt to stop it. The shots didn’t injure any bystanders.
Waukesha police are being assisted by the FBI, the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), and neighbouring police departments, Chief Thompson added.
Children were injured, sê die polisiehoof
There were 12 children injured in the attack, Chief Thompson sê.
He said that 11 adults and 12 paediatric patients were transported to local hospitals. The vehicle struck more than 20 mense.
It is not clear whether those numbers include the dead. Another official said there were “some fatalities”, suggesting more than one.
A person of interest is in custody
Polisiehoof Dan Thompson has said a person of interest is in custody.
He confirmed that more than one person is dead, but refused to say how many because police are still working to contact family members.
Waukesha mayor: ‘Today our community faced horror and tragedy’
The press conference has started. Mayor Shawn Reilly gesê:
“Today we experienced a horrible, senseless tragedy. I walked in the parade. At the beginning I saw the happy children sitting on the curb…
“Today our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration. I’m deeply saddened to know that so many in our community went to a parade but ended up dealing with injury and heartache.”