News and Analysis

At Least 5 Dead, 40+ Injured After Driver Plows Into Christmas Parade; Possible Suspected Identified
WAUKESHA, WI - NOVEMBER 21: Police and emergency personnel work on a crime scene on November 21, 2021 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. According to reports, an SUV drove through pedestrians at a holiday parade, killing at least one and injuring 20 more.
Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

At least five people were killed and more than 40 injured after a driver rammed a vehicle into Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday evening, triggering a massive response from state and local officials.

“At this time, we can confirm that 5 people are deceased and over 40 are injured,” the city of Waukesha said on Twitter. “However, these numbers may change as we collect additional information. Many people have self-transported to area hospitals. The Police Department has the person of interest in custody.”

The city said that situation remained “fluid” and that the investigation was “ongoing” as officials urged the community to come together and to pray for the victims and their families.

“Main Street is closed from Barstow & Main to Wisconsin and Main,” the city added. “The street will not be open before mid-day tomorrow, Monday, November 22nd. Businesses in this area should remain closed as entry and exit from Main Street will not be allowed.”

Disturbing footage quickly circulated online showing the driver plow a red Ford Escape into a crowd of people that were participating in the parade., a fact-finding website, identified the suspect taken into custody as a 39-year-old black male. The Daily Wire is withholding the name of the suspect due to its policy of not naming alleged mass killers. A columnist with the New York Post confirmed the report and included a link to court documents showing that the suspect was already facing multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.

An official with the Waukesha Fire Department said that 12 children had been transported to local hospitals after sustaining injuries during the incident.

“Today our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration,” said Mayor Shawn Reilly, who described seeing smiling children and happy parents when he marched along the parade route before the incident. “I’m deeply saddened to know that so many in our community went to a parade but ended up dealing with injury and heartache.”

The School District of Waukesha announced in a statement late on Sunday that it was closing schools on Monday in response to the incident.

The statement from Dr. James Sebert, Superintendent of Schools, and Dr. Joe Koch, Deputy Superintendent, said:

Several of our administrative staff and principals met this evening following the tragic event that occurred at the City of Waukesha Christmas Parade. At this time, we are working with the police department to more fully comprehend all of the tragic details of this unfortunate event.

As a result of this situation, school will be canceled on Monday, November 22, 2021, for all students in grades 4K – 12 [sic]. Additionally, the District will have additional counselors available during the school day at all buildings for all students that may be in need of support services.

A decision on school for Tuesday will be determined during the day on Monday. Our thoughts are with everyone impacted, with all who witnessed the event, and with our entire community.

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