Vehicle plows into crowd, gunshots fired at Wisconsin Christmas parade

As marching bands played and residents lined the street, a red SUV sped through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wis., early Sunday evening, on Nov. 21, 2021, colliding with several people and leaving an unknown number injured.

Cellphone video captured a red SUV speeding through the crowd, hitting pedestrians and accelerating throughout the route. Several reported that after the vehicle rampaged through police barricades, the driver began to open fire with a firearm.

Police investigating at the scene of the crash involving multiple people and injuries at a holiday parade in Waukesha County, the third-most populous county in Wisconsin.

Police have not said how many people were hit, and they have not commented on possible suspects or motives, saying only that residents should “avoid the downtown area.”

A post to the Waukesha Police Department’s Facebook page said officials have established a family reunification center for attendees who were scattered and separated in the chaos.

There is at least one person dead and more than 20 injured, according to preliminary reports. A shelter-in-place warning was issued by the Waukesha Police Department at about 7:05 p.m.

Witnesses described a terrifying scene, telling local news outlets that the vehicle barreled into a crowd that appeared to include several children, shattering the festive atmosphere at the annual event in the predominantly white community, located about 20 miles west of Milwaukee.

An “SUV drove through parade… Right past my children and I,” said witness Matt Rude. “I heard of multiple gunshots and many people down” said the man, who described it as a “horrible scene.”

An intern at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper, Kaylee Staral, said she was at the parade and saw “multiple people on the ground injured.”

“Heavy police and ambulance presence now,” Staral said on Twitter. “Tons of families with children running to their cars to leave the scene.”

Images from the parade, which traveled down the city’s main street and was set to finish near the public library, showed swarms of emergency personnel and belongings abandoned as attendees fled the scene.

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