Waukesha police: 5 dead, 40+ injured after parade incident

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Waukesha officials said late Sunday night at least 5 people have died and more than 40 people were hurt after a car drove through the city’s holiday parade Sunday night.

Among those injured were 11 adults and 12 “pediatric patients,” officials said earlier Sunday night.  Waukesha police said they are working with the county’s Medical Examiner to confirm who died.

“Today our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration,” said Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly. “My heart goes out to all those affected by this senseless act.”

In a statement Sunday night, Children’s Wisconsin immediately prepared for a surge of patients after the incident, but said of the 15 patients at the hospital as of 8 p.m., zero had died.

Officials said the Children’s Wisconsin Emergency Department and Trauma Center is fully open to support any community need, in addition to responding to this fluid and dynamic situation.

Additional information on the hospital’s response to the incident will be shared Monday morning, the release said.

A Family Reception Center is located at Waukesha South High School, but families who are out of town can call 1-262-548-7122 to locate people. Counseling is also located at the site, police said.

Waukesha police said an officer who has been with the department for 6.5 years shot at the car in an effort to stop them. Officers did not say if the person in the car was hit by the officers who fired.

Police also said they do not believe any shots were fired from the vehicle, but said officers discharged their firearms to stop the vehicle.

“It is unknown at this time whether the incident has any nexus to terrorism,” said Waukesha police Chief Daniel Thompson. 

Police said a person of interest was in custody Sunday night.

In an earlier news conference, officials said the car had been recovered, but they didn’t say if someone was in custody.

READ MORE: ‘Pray for our community’: Local, state officials react to Waukesha parade incident

The crash initially happened around 4:30 p.m. during the parade, which went through the city’s downtown.

A shelter in place order was in effect for more than an hour after the incident. That has since been lifted, but officers said they did not want community members near the crime scene. Officials said the roads the parade was on, which include West Main Street and Wisconsin Avenue, will be closed for at least 24 hours.

“I’m deeply saddened to know that so many in our community went to a parade but ended up dealing with injury and heartache,” Reilly said.

Officials said schools in Waukesha will be closed Monday as the investigation continues.

Another news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at Waukesha City Hall.