There are indications the Waukesha suspect was fleeing another incident when he drove into the parade route, according to multiple law enforcement sources familiar with preliminary investigation findings.
Witnesses described the horror of seeing people struck and lying on the ground after a red SUV drove through a series of barricades and barreled into the crowded parade route on Main Street around 4:39 p.m. local time.
On Monday morning, the belongings of paradegoers were still strewn across the scene as authorities try to confirm what led up to the calamity.
Police Chief Daniel P. Thompson said officers are working with the Waukesha County Medical Examiner’s Office to identify victims.
Thompson said there is “a person of interest in custody,” but would not say whether it was the driver of the SUV nor if any arrests have been made.
“This is still a very fluid investigation,” the chief told reporters Sunday night. He said children are among the injured.
“The scene is now safe and secure,” Thompson said.
Victims include Milwaukee Dancing Grannies members
“Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies,” the group said.
“Our hearts are heavy at this most difficult time, as more information and updates become available it will be posted. Please keep them their families, friends, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies and everyone who lives have forever changed in your thoughts and prayer.”
At least several of the injured were in critical condition
Aurora Medical Center-Summit, a hospital in Waukesha County, said it was treating 13 patients as of Sunday night: three listed in critical condition, four in serious condition and six in fair condition. “We are deeply saddened by today’s senseless tragedy and our hearts are with the Waukesha community,” the hospital said in a statement.
Children’s Wisconsin, a pediatric hospital in Milwaukee, said it was treating 15 patients who were hurt, with no reported fatalities as of Sunday night. Waukesha is about 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee.
Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee — the only Level I trauma center in southeast Wisconsin — said it was also treating patients from the parade incident but is not providing a specific number nor conditions. Level I trauma centers typically care for the most critically ill patients.
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