Waukesha tragedy: Harrowing videos show moment SUV driver ran over dancing young girls
Children were among those struck by the car. In all, 11 adults and 12 pediatric patients were transported to six hospitals in the area
Warning: Graphic videos
WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN: Five people have been killed and more than 40 injured after a man plowed his SUV into a parade in Wisconsin. A number of videos have gone viral on the Internet showing the exact moment when tragedy fell upon the Christmas parade and some of its participants including dancing girls between 9 and 15 years old. According to Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson, a person of interest -- said to be Darrell E. Brooks -- was detained and a vehicle was also recovered about 20 miles (32 km) west of Milwaukee after the tragedy.
On their Facebook page, the Waukesha Police Department wrote: “At this time, we can confirm that 5 people are deceased and over 40 are injured. However, these numbers may change as we collect additional information. Many people have self-transported to area hospitals.” Besides, there has been no official confirmation yet if the incident was a terrorism act.
A number of videos posted on Twitter showed a red sport utility vehicle, which was reportedly going about 40 mph (64 kph), deliberately hitting a crowd participating in the Christmas parade. Another footage showed girls waving pompoms while dancing and celebrating when the SUV rammed into them from behind. Thompson said a cop present at the scene fired at the vehicle in response. One of the eyewitnesses identified as Belen Santamaria said, “The SUV came by at full speed. Then I started to hear people screaming,” before adding, “I was going to be there, walking. The SUV would have hit us too.”
A woman told Milwaukee's Fox6 TV station that after the incident, the initial reaction was complete silence before people started screaming, running, and checking on those wounded. Another bystander claimed the vehicle also struck a group of “Dancing Grannies”.
DISTURBING VIDEO.— 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙅𝙪𝙜𝙜𝙚𝙧𝙣𝙖𝙪𝙩 (@TheJuggernaut88) November 22, 2021
Video footage shows a driver deliberately plowing through a crowd celebrating a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. pic.twitter.com/uMTdzi3lFz
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies said on Facebook, “Members of the group and volunteers were impacted and we are waiting for word on their conditions. Please keep the Grannies, all those injured, and all those who witnessed this horrible event in your thoughts and prayers.”
A person named Angelito Tenorio, an alderman in nearby West Allis, who witnessed the incident, said: “As we were walking back in between the buildings ... we saw an SUV cross over, just put the pedal to the metal and just zooming full speed along the parade route. And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle.” Groups like the Catholic Community of Waukesha, Waukesha Xtreme Dance, and the Catholic Community of Waukesha issued statements saying members of their groups who were marching in the parade at the site of the collision were impacted. Those organizations were all marching behind each other during the parade, according to the event's parade lineup.
The Children's Wisconsin hospital said it attended 15 patients as of eight in the evening of Sunday. No fatalities were reported by the hospital. Also, it has been said that for the students of grades 4K-12, schools won’t open on Monday, November 22. The district superintendent of schools said that additional counselors would be provided to kids who may need support.
TRIGGER WARNING ⚠️— Gabriel Hébert-Rouillier 💀 (@Gab_H_R) November 22, 2021
FULL VIDEO ⚠️#BREAKING
Reports of multiple injuries after car runs through Christmas parade in Wisconsin
Multiple people are feared to have been injured after a car reportedly rammed into a crowd of parade-goers in the city of #Waukesha, Wisconsin. pic.twitter.com/BkHLY18udH
President Joe Biden has been informed about the incident. A White House official said, “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. We have reached out to state and local officials to offer any support and assistance as needed.”
Meanwhile, Twitter was flooded with shocking reactions from people after viewing the videos of the Sunday horror. A user tweeted, “OMG, this is horrible.” The second one said, “What is WRONG with people ???!!! Just WHY ???” “Deliberate,” the third one added.
OMG, this is horrible 😢♥️— Edward Garbowski Jr (@exg001) November 22, 2021
What is WRONG with people ???!!! Just WHY ???— Amy Brown (@redvayne777) November 22, 2021
Deliberate— Deanna Velasco (@Nolaflowergirl) November 22, 2021
The Waukesha Police Department asks anyone looking for family members who may live out of town to call (262) 548-7122. In addition, police asked locals to avoid the downtown area.