(Update 1: Adds casualty figures, details)
Washington, Nov 21 (EFE).- At least five people were killed and scores were injured when an SUV plowed through a Christmas parade in the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday, authorities said.
The incident occurred at around 4.39 pm local time (22:39 GMT), when the vehicle was driven at speed through the Christmas parade of dance groups, high school bands and personalities with which the town began its holiday season.
“We can confirm that 5 people are deceased and over 40 are injured,” Waukesha local government said in a statement around midnight. “However, these numbers may change as we collect additional information. Many people have self-transported to area hospitals.”
At an earlier press conference, Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson said “the vehicle struck more than twenty individuals. Some of the individuals were children, and there were some fatalities,” but did not confirm numbers as family were still being notified.
He said there was a person of interest in custody and police were “no longer looking for a suspect vehicle.”
It was not known if the incident was terror-related, he said.
After witness reports of shots fired, Thompson said “an officer did discharge his weapon at the suspect’s vehicle to try to stop” it, and that no bystanders were injured as a result.
Police, fire department staff and family members transported the injured to hospitals.
Fire Chief Steve Howard said the department and its partners “transported a total of eleven adults and twelve pediatric patients to six area hospitals” and that there were “some fatalities,” but did not elaborate.
Multiple witness videos were posted to social media. One showed the vehicle speeding towards where the parade was taking place and a police officer running after it.
Another showed a police officer appearing to fire at the vehicle as it crashed through a street barricade and accelerated away.
Footage shot from a building looking overlooking the event showed a red SUV hitting multiple people as it drove through parade participants.
City Mayor Shawn Reilly said it had been “a horrible senseless tragedy.”
“Today our community faced horror and tragedy in what should’ve 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,” he said.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued a statement in which he said he was praying for all those affected by the “senseless act.”
Public schools and businesses in the area will be closed on Tuesday. EFE