Waukesha Christmas parade: Moment cops swoop on SUV at suspect's home as it's revealed driver 'was fleeing knife crime'
COPS swooped on an SUV at a suspect's home after five people were killed when the vehicle plowed into a Christmas parade.
The driver of the red Ford Escape was reportedly fleeing a knife crime when he sped through the parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday.
Families and performers were celebrating an annual holiday event when the horror unfolded, which left more than 40 people – including 12 kids – injured.
Cops opened fire on the SUV as it plowed through a barrier and sped off.
Officers later swooped on an address in Milwaukee, where the damaged SUV was parked in the driveway.
One possibility investigators are looking at is that the person behind the wheel had been fleeing an earlier incident involving a knife fight, CNBC reports.
Pictures show the SUV was crumpled right up to the windscreen, with its bumper and licence plate hanging off.
The suspect was detained and he reportedly complained of a sore shoulder as he was taken into custody.
Waukesha Chief Dan Thompson stated in a press conference that the vehicle struck more than 40 individuals, including some children.
Thompson also said one person of interest is in custody, noting that it is a "fluid investigation" and that the priority at this point is "working with families" of the victims.
Earlier parents screamed their kids names and bodies flew everywhere as the SUV rampaged through the town.
One witness, Angela O'Boyle, whose apartment overlooked the parade in the Milwaukee suburb, told CNN: "All I heard was screaming and then people yelling out their children's names".
She described how she “saw the car come and plow into the band that was just pass my balcony at that point”.
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"It hit at least two people right away and rolled over them," she said.
“And then continued down the road to People's Park which is at the end of the block -and then kept going, it didn't stop."
Brayden Kowalski, a 19-year-old witness, told Fox News he was with his family when he saw bodies being thrown around by the car.
"[The driver is] just blowing through people, kind of just dinging a lot of people, bodies flying everywhere,” Kowalski said.
"These people didn’t get run over, they got f*****g thrown through the air. Like a lot of people got tossed up into the air.”
Kowalski went on to say he and his mom ran into the crowd to help those who were hurt.
"There were quite a few people with broken limbs, like a lot of broken legs, a lot of people shouting with broken legs. It was horrifying.”
One witness reportedly said it looked as though the driver of the vehicle was "trying to hit people."
"He was swerving back and forth."
More witness accounts detail a dance team of young girls "between nine and 15 years old" who may have been hit by the vehicle.
One Twitter user posted a video in which a dancing child enjoying the parade was nearly hit by the speeding vehicle.
Kowalski told Fox: "This is the most peaceful loving town. Everyone is so friendly. I know people say, ‘You would never expect this to happen here.'
"But this is one of those towns. You would have never thought this would happen."
A shelter-in-place order was canceled and Thompson deemed the scene "safe and secure."
Eleven adults and 12 pediatric patients were transported to six nearby hospitals, according to Fire Chief Steve Howard.
Howard did say there were "multiple fatalities," though he could not confirm the exact number at this time as families and loved ones were still being notified.
Officials also noted during the press conference that they do not believe shots were fired from the vehicle, as was reported earlier in the day, saying that shots had been discharged by police to try to stop the vehicle.
Shawn Reilly, mayor of Waukesha, which has around 70,000 residents, indicated that there was no longer a threat to the community.
SWERVING BACK AND FORTH
The FBI tweeted in response to the incident: "Our local law enforcement partners are the primary responding entities in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
"The FBI is providing assistance. It is standard practice for the FBI to assist our local law enforcement partners."
Reilly released an earlier statement: "Tonight was a traumatic situation for the city of Waukesha. We don't have all the details."
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers released a statement via Twitter, saying: "Kathy and I are praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act.
"I'm grateful for the first responders and folks who acted quickly to help, and we are in contact with local partners as we await more information."
Members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies troupe were marching at the time of the incident.
A statement was released on the group's Facebook page that reads in part: "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."
Just moments after the alleged incident took place, a local reported tweeted that a "car just ran through the middle of a downtown Waukesha" Christmas parade.
The City of Waukesha Facebook account had been streaming the parade live.
After the SUV is seen speeding through the parade, members of the crowd can be seen ushering performers to the side of the road to allow emergency vehicles through.
Waukesha residents had gathered to celebrate the city's 58th annual Christmas parade, according to a post on their chamber of commerce's website.
"Comfort and joy" is used on the site to describe the parade, which began at 4pm local time and traveled on Main Street in downtown Waukesha.
Local residents have been advised to avoid the downtown area at this time.
A family reunification location is at the Metro Transit Center by Bank St, according to the Waukesha Police Department.
The investigation is ongoing.
On Friday, Kyle Rittenhouse was cleared of murder after he opened fire on Black Lives Matter protestors in 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The 18-year-old's acquittal led to protests in parts of the country.
Ahead of the verdict BLM protesters and supporters of Rittenhouse were engaged in a tense stand-off outside the court on Kenosha.
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