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Friday, December 3, 2021

‘Some deaths’ after SUV speeding in Christmas parade

by Scott Bauer and Mike Householder

Waukesha, Wis. (AP) — On Sunday, an SUV driver rammed a police line and into a Christmas march parade, hitting more than 20 adults and children in a horrifying scene captured by city livestreams and by audience cellphones.

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said “some” people were killed, but would not give exact numbers. One person was in custody, he said, but gave no indication of motive.

In one video, a woman is seen shouting, “Oh my god!” Repeatedly a group of girls wearing Santa hats and dancing with white fanfare are killed. Another depicts SUVs driving plows among members of a marching band, their music replaced with eerie screams.

Fire Chief Steven Howard said 11 adults and 12 children were injured and taken to hospitals by his department. It was unknown how many other injured were taken to hospitals by others.

Thompson said police also had the vehicle. The investigation was on.

Thompson said that as the SUV broke through the barricades, a Waukesha police officer fired his gun in an attempt to stop the vehicle. No onlookers were injured, and Thompson said he did not know whether the driver had been hit by the officer’s bullets.

A video shows the moment the SUV breaks through the barricades and several gunshots are heard.

The video, taken when the pompom dancers collide, ends with a group of people leading towards one of the girls lying on the ground.

Waukesha School District board member Corey Montiho told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that her daughter’s dance team was hit by an SUV.

“They were pomp and shoes and hot chocolate was spilled everywhere. I had to go from one mutilated body to another to find my daughter,” he said. “My wife and two daughters were almost killed. Please pray for everyone. Please pray.”

Chris Germain, co-owner of the Aspire Dance Center studio, had about 70 girls in the parade, ranging in age from 2 years old to 18 years old. Jermaine, who had his 3-year-old daughter in the parade, said he was driving to the head of their entrance when he saw a red SUV that was “blazing right in front of us.” He said a police officer chasing him came on foot. Jermaine said he jumped out of his SUV and gathered the girls living with him.

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“There were small children lying on the street, police officers and EMTs doing CPR on several members of the parade,” he said.

West Allis alderman Angelito Tenorio, running for Wisconsin state treasurer, said he was watching the parade with his family when he saw an SUV speeding into the area.

“Then we heard a loud bang,” Tenorio said. “And after that, we just heard screams and screams from the crowd, from the people in the parade. And people started crying, running away with tears in their eyes.

Governor Tony Evers said he and his wife, Kathy, were “praying tonight for Waukesha and all the children, families and community members affected by this senseless act.”

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, who was at the parade but left just before the event, called it “an unspeakable tragedy that affects all of us as we recover from an extremely challenging two years and return to our cherished holiday traditions.” Work to start again.”

The parade is sponsored by the city’s Chamber of Commerce. This year’s edition was the 59th edition of the event that is held each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Waukesha is a western suburb of Milwaukee, and about 55 miles north of Kenosha, where Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted in August 2020 of charges stemming from the shooting of three men during unrest in that city.

___ Bauer reported from Madison, Wis. Associated Press reporter Doug Glass contributed from Minneapolis.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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