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Five people were killed and 40 others wounded after a vehicle plowed into a Christmas parade in the US state of Wisconsin on Sunday, police said.
Officials said a red SUV broke through barricades at the Christmas parade in Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee just after 4:30 pm (2230 GMT), as spectators watched the annual tradition.
“We can confirm that 5 people are deceased and 40 are injured. However, these numbers may change as we collect additional information,” the Waukesha Police Department said in a statement on their official Facebook page.
Police added they have a “person of interest in custody”.
Police chief Dan Thompson had earlier told reporters that “some of the individuals were children” and that officers had recovered the involved vehicle. There were no other threats, officials at the press conference said.
A total of 11 adults and 12 children were taken to six area hospitals, Fire Chief Steven Howard told reporters.
During the incident an officer fired at the SUV in an attempt to stop it, the authorities added.
Schools will not open Monday and roads will remain closed, Thompson said, while the investigation is continuing.
President Joe Biden has received a briefing on the situation and the White House is “closely monitoring the situation in Waukesha and our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by this terrible incident,” said an official.
“We have reached out to state and local officials to offer any support and assistance as needed,” added the official.
While local law enforcement were the primary responding entities, the FBI said it was providing assistance.
Angelito Tenorio, who is running for Wisconsin state treasurer, was at the parade and told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he “saw an SUV cross over, just put the pedal to the metal and just zooming full speed along the parade route.”
‘And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle,’ he said.
According to bystanders and footage, the SUV sped into the parade behind a school marching band.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK