At least five dead and 40 injured as car plows into crowd at US Christmas parade

22 November 2021, 06:02 | Updated: 22 November 2021, 17:27

Five dead after vehicle drives into crowd at Christmas parade

- Car plows into crowd in Milwaukee, leaving at least five dead

- 40 people injured, including 12 children

- Police opened fire to try and stop the driver

- Graphic footage posted online shows the car ramming into people at a Christmas parade

- Police said ‘person of interest’ has been taken into custody

- Incident comes two days after Kyle Rittenhouse was cleared of murder

Police said a driver had been taken into custody
Police said a driver had been taken into custody. Picture: Social Media

By Asher McShane

A car crashed into a Christmas parade in a city in Milwaukee, killing at least five people and leaving 40 people injured, including children.

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Terrifying video posted online shows a speeding red SUV collide with a group of people marching in the middle of the street during the annual Christmas parade in Waukesha, around 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee. 

One video showed a woman screaming, "Oh my God!" repeatedly as a group of young dancers was hit.

A father described going "from one crumpled body to the other" in search of his daughter after the tragedy unfolded.

READ MORE: Terrified witnesses tell how rampaging SUV tore through US Christmas parade crowd

Chief of Waukesha Police Dan Thompson confirmed there were "some fatalities" and that dozens have been left injured during the incident in Waukesha on Sunday.

Officials later confirmed at least five people had died and others who were hurt have been taken to hospital.

Twitter footage from Wisconsin shows horrific aftermath of car slamming into parade in Waukesha

Mr Thompson said: "We have a person of interest that we are looking into at this time."

He added later a "person of interest" is in custody but he did not give any indication of motive.

The suspect was later named locally as Darrell Edward Brooks Jr, 39, a rapper who performs under the stage name MathBoi Fly, according to NBC News.

It's believed he may have been fleeing from another crime scene.

A car drove into a Christmas parade in Waukesha
A car drove into a Christmas parade in Waukesha. Picture: Getty

Fire Chief Steven Howard said 11 adults and 12 children were injured and transported to hospitals by his department. It is not known how many people were taken to hospitals by others.

The exact number of fatalities hasn't yet been confirmed
The exact number of fatalities hasn't yet been confirmed. Picture: Getty

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin said it received 15 patients from the parade and no reported fatalities as of 8 p.m.

Mr Thompson said the investigation is ongoing - with assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Justice - but a "suspect vehicle" has been recovered. People have been urged to avoid the downtown area.

The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, which had people taking part in the parade, posted on its Facebook page that "members of the group and volunteers were impacted and we are waiting for word on their conditions."

Police confirmed that 5 people have been killed
Police confirmed that 5 people have been killed. Picture: Getty

The group's profile describes them as a "group of grannies that meet once a week to practice routines for summer and winter parades."

Waukesha mayor Shawn Reilly told WITI television station in Milwaukee that he does not believe there is any current danger to the public.

Footage posted on social media, which appeared to be a live video feed, showed a red vehicle breaking through barriers and speeding into the road where the parade was taking place.

A second video taken along the parade route showed a group of what appeared to be teenage girls dancing with white pompoms and wearing Santa hats.

The vehicle then plows into the group as the person filming shouts, "Oh my God!" over and over. The video shows people tending to at least one of the girls on the ground.

Another video shows the car striking what appears to be members of a marching band and several others along the parade route before driving on. The sound of the marching band heard before the car approaches is replaced by screams.

Corey Montiho, a Waukesha school district board member, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his daughter's dance team was hit.

"They were pom-poms 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."

In a statement on Facebook, officers added that a family reunification location has been established at the Metro Transit Centre by Bank Street.

Angelito Tenorio, a West Allis alderman who is running for Wisconsin state treasurer, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he was watching the parade with his family when they saw the vehicle come speeding into the area.

He told the newspaper: "We heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle.

"Then we saw people running away or stopping crying, and there, there are people on the ground who looked like they'd been hit by the vehicle.

"It just happened so fast. It was pretty horrifying."

Mr Tenorio said he saw about 10 people, children and adults, on the ground who appeared to have been hit by the vehicle.

The parade is sponsored by the city's Chamber of Commerce. This year's edition was the 59th of the event that is held each year the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Waukesha is a western suburb of Milwaukee, and about 55 miles north of Kenosha, where Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on Friday of charges stemming for the shooting of three men during unrest in that city in August 2020.