Witnesses described a chaotic scene in Waukesha, Wisconsin, after a red SUV slammed through a Christmas parade, killing at least five and wounding dozens more.
An SUV sped through a roadblock and hit multiple parade marchers, including many children, on Sunday evening. The driver rammed through a school marching band from behind, speeding down the street as people screamed and attempted to react.
An officer attempted to stop the vehicle by shooting at it. No bystanders were injured by the gunfire. Police have arrested a suspect in the incident and are searching for others.
Waukesha school district board member Corey Montiho said the SUV ran through his daughter’s dance team and described searching for his family in the carnage.
“They were pom-poms and shoes and spilled hot chocolate everywhere. I had to go from one crumpled body to the other to find my daughter,” he said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “My wife and two daughters were almost hit. Please pray for everybody. Please pray.”
“My family is safe but many are not. I held one little girl’s head in my hand, she was seizing and she was bleeding out of her ears. I held her mother as she collapsed. Please pray,” he added.
Angelito Tenorio, a West Allis alderman and candidate for Wisconsin state treasurer, had just finished marching in the parade when he watched the SUV plow through the crowd.
“We saw an SUV cross over, just put the pedal to the metal and just zooming full speed along the parade route,” Tenorio said. “And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle. And then we saw people running away or stopping crying, and there are people on the ground who looked like they’d been hit by the vehicle.”
“It just all happened so fast,” he added, saying he saw about 10 adults and children on the ground after being struck by the vehicle.
Jordan Woynilko, a Milwaukee man, described the scene to Fox News when he stepped out of a pub along the parade route to hear screams and see the SUV plow through marchers.
“As I was opening the door to walk out, people started yelling and running in – and that’s when I saw the red SUV,” Woynilko said. “I saw it drive through and hit the people.”
Woynilko caught video of the aftermath of the incident, which he shared on social media.
“There were moms and dads yelling for their kids, people running around,” he said. “When I rewatched the video, I could hear people talking, and they were like, ‘There’s eight people injured down there. We need an ambulance over here.’ There’s one lady kneeling on the ground crying.”
Brayden Kowalski, who grew up in Waukesha and attended the parade with his family, said he saw people thrown through the air as they were struck by the red SUV.
“He’s 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***ing thrown through the air. Like a lot of people got tossed up into the air.”
“You could see the fragments of brains,” he said. “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.”