UPDATE 1 | November 21, 2021 | 1915 PT
A red SUV broke through a Police Traffic Barricade that was blocking the annual Downtown Christmas Parade route. Not stopping for Police, a 16-year veteran Waukesha Police Officer fired one shot at the fleeing vehicle. The Police Chief would not comment at the 2000 hours (CST) Presser if the suspect driver was hit or not.
No other people in the area were injured.
Video from various Social Media accounts, including eyewitnesses and news media outlets, published horrific and graphic images of a red SUV driving through a crowd of parade participants. The vehicle never stopped and continued hitting even more people on the parade route.
People could be seen in complete shock standing in the streets, sidewalks, and everywhere else looking around and being seen on camera, while others run towards the downed injured victims lying in the street.
The incident occurred on Sunday at 1439 hours CST (1239 PT) on Main Street.
The Fire Department responded from all five of their Fire Stations, as well as one of the engines that were in the parade. Members reported 30 patients with unknown injuries and Command requested a Life Safety Box 15-3 be initiated with life-threatening injuries. (1459 CST) It would later be upgraded to a 2nd Alarm, which brings out all on-call firefighters and area Fire Departments as mutual aid. (1507 CST)
Two fatalities were reported at 1522 CST but Police were waiting on their identities and details as pending notifications to next-of-kin were in progress. The Media pushed during the Presser to gain more intel but were told out of respect for victims, they were not releasing that information.
Ambulances also responded as part of the 2nd alarm level after their MCI was activated for this incident.
There were 23 total patients transported to six area hospitals, with 11 of those adults and 12 as pediatric patients. No word on their conditions was released by City, Fire, or Police Officials.
Eyewitness accounts stated they thought the suspect vehicle was using a rifle and popping off shots while driving through the crowd, but that was squashed by the Police Department as one of their own had discharged his weapon trying to stop the fleeing red Ford SUV. There were no indications that the suspect shot from his window.
LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSE
The Police Chief believes that their person-of-interest is the only suspect in this case, but this is still a fluid investigation he states. They stated they are no longer looking for any more suspect and believe that the person they have in custody is it. Additionally, the suspect’s vehicle has been secured.
The Police Chief thanked all LE resources from their own department, Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office, the ATF, FBI, State Patrol, Brookfield PD, DCI, and others that jumped in and responded to the scene to help.
The Police initially stated shelter-in-place alerts were issued to community residents, while they were searching for any further suspects and working to clear the area first. The scene now is clear and secure. Their investigation will surely continue throughout the night and into the following days.
There is no known motive for the suspect’s actions at this time.
A Family Reunification Center was set up for members to meet at the Metro Transit Center, located next to Bank Street.
Blood donors were being asked to donate to either Versiti or to the Red Cross as Waukesha Memorial Hospital was running short on blood levels.
Waukesha American Red Cross – 2220 Silvernail Rd, Pewaukee, WI. 1-800-RED-CROSS. https://www.redcrossblood.org/local-homepage/location/waukesha-american-red-cross.html?fbclid=IwAR2YBfv5Ajt4uRZ2jI-IJXS-JZ-LNfUdOWV5zUdxYv_bDlPYdz26ZR1MLnM Make an appointment on their website.
Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin – Multiple Centers
The Children’s Wisconsin hospital released this statement at 2045 CST:
Children’s Wisconsin immediately prepared for a surge of patients after receiving notification from law enforcement of the incident at the Waukesha Christmas Parade. As of 8 p.m., Children’s Wisconsin received 15 patients from the incident, with no reported fatalities at our hospital at that time. The Children’s Wisconsin Emergency Department and Trauma Center are fully open to supporting any community need, in addition to responding to this fluid and dynamic situation.
School is canceled on Mondy and possibly Tuesday for Waukesha students. School Social Workers, School Psychologists, and School Counselors will be in each school to support staff and if a student needs to come in for support. There are 22 schools in the district and every single one is impacted at some level.
Due to the graphic nature of videos of the suspect vehicle running through the crowd, we will not be reposting these and out of respect for those involved or killed from this tragic event.
We send our sincere sympathies, prayers, and thoughts to those who are injured or have lost or injured loved ones. Waukesha, we will hold you dear and close to our hearts this evening and for, however, you may need us.
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