Witnesses have recounted the scenes of horror that unfolded in a suburban Wisconsin town on Sunday after a car plowed into a Christmas parade leaving at five dead and 40 others – including at least 12 children – injured.
Father Corey Montiho recalled running between crumpled bodies in the streets of Waukesha, 20 miles from Milwaukee, in an attempt to find his wife and two daughters after the girls’ dance team was hit by a speeding red SUV which tore through the parade route around 4.40pm – leaving the streets littered with bodies, broken bones, and ‘fragments of brain’.
‘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. ‘My wife and two daughters were almost hit.
‘I saw bodies flying. I ran down the parade route to find my girls. Addison, my daughter, heard someone yell “car” and ran away. The girls right next to her were hit.
‘I was there. It was little kids and families… evil is real, fight it every chance you get.’
Police say a ‘person of interest’ is now in custody, but no arrests have been made. Officers have also not disclosed a motive but say they are not discounting terrorism. They are also believed to be looking into the possibility that the suspect was fleeing an earlier knife incident when he happened upon the parade.
Dozens of pieces of footage, intended to capture the annual parade, instead ended up documenting the horror – with one showing how a little girl dancing close to the road was narrowly missed by the SUV.
Terrifying video posted to social media shows a speeding red SUV collide into a group of people marching in the middle of the street during the annual holiday parade in Waukesha, some 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee
The young girl dressed in all pink is seen enjoying the holiday parade on Sunday as the red SUV barrels down the road
The image above shows a red SUV driving at high speed through a holiday parade in downtown Waukesha, some 20 miles west of Milwaukee, on Sunday evening
Locals tend to an injured paradegoer in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday night after the horrific incident
The images above show victims lying on the ground after the red Ford SUV plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha on Sunday
Reports indicate that the driver plowed through barricades and slammed into a holiday parade, injuring some 20 people, among them elderly women. The driver is also alleged to have fired gunshots
Witnesses said there were a large number of casualties near the intersection of Main and Barstow streets in downtown Waukesha on Sunday
The image above shows a vehicle that matches the description of the red Ford SUV which plowed into the parade. Police said the suspect’s vehicle was in custody and that they are looking for a person of interest
Timeline of Waukesha holiday parade tragedy
4pm: Annual holiday parade, which was canceled last year due to COVID-19 pandemic, gets underway in downtown Waukesha
4:39pm: Red SUV plows through barricades and mows down a large crowd of paradegoers
7:15pm: Waukesha police tell downtown residents to shelter in place
8:00pm: Law enforcement officials say they have recovered the suspect’s vehicle and that a ‘person of interest’ is in custody
10:00pm: Police said a total of 28 people were injured, including at least 12 children. Several died
00.00am: Officers confirm at least five people are dead and 40 injured. A ‘person of interest’ is in custody, but no arrests have been made
The incident comes just two days after Kyle Rittenhouse, the accused Kenosha shooter, was acquitted of murder charges in the deaths of two men during the unrest that erupted last year in the wake of a police shooting of a black man. Kenosha is located about 55 miles south of Waukesha.
The Rittenhouse acquittal, which stoked division along political and racial lines, prompted local and national authorities to place security forces on high alert.
Brayden Kowalski, a 19-year-old Waukesha native, said that he was at the parade with his family when he saw ‘bodies flying everywhere.’
‘He’s just blowing through people, kind of just dinging a lot of people, bodies flying everywhere,’ Kowalski told Fox News. ‘These people didn’t get run over, they got f**king 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.’
Jordan Woynilko, a Milwaukee man who shared video of the incident’s aftermath, said he was stepping out of a pub along the parade route when he walked into a scene of desperation and despair.
‘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.’
The head of the fire department said that 11 adults, including a priest, and 12 children were rushed to six different hospitals in the area. They include several elderly women who were part of a ‘Dancing Grannies’ float and members of a schoolgirls’ dance team, according to reports.
Children’s Wisconsin, a pediatric hospital in Milwaukee, said it was treating 15 patients. Aurora Medical Center-Summit, a hospital in Waukesha County, told CNN that it is treating 13 patients.
Three are 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,’ a statement from the hospital said.
Authorities will release information about fatalities after notifying next of kin.
The White House on Sunday said it was monitoring the situation. President Joe Biden was briefed by aides on the incident, according to a White House official.
‘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,’ a White House official said.
‘We have reached out to state and local officials to offer any support and assistance as needed.’
The incident comes just two days after Kyle Rittenhouse, the accused Kenosha shooter, was acquitted of murder charges in the deaths of two men during the unrest that erupted last year in the wake of a police shooting of a black man. Kenosha is located about 55 miles south of Waukesha
Paradegoers are seen gathered in the aftermath of a local Christmas parade that turned deadly when a red SUV sped through the parade route in Waukesha, Wisconsin
A stroller lays abandoned on the street after a vehicle plowed through the annual holiday parade in Waukesha on Sunday
A broken children’s stroller lays on W. Main St. in downtown Waukesha after the tragedy on Sunday
Spectators’ chairs and children’s scooters are seen above at the crime scene in Waukesha on Sunday
Authorities rushed to the scene Sunday as terrified witnesses described a horrific scene with ‘crumpled ‘ bodies and broken limbs as many were hit by the speeding vehicle
Residents helped one another as several people were injured and multiple killed after the vehicle plowed through the crowd
Melinda, a 36-year-old kindergarten teacher, told the New York Post she was watching the parade from her apartment on West Main Street when she saw the red SUV speed through the crowd.
‘I ran downstairs and it was just kids on the ground and everyone freaking out,’ Melinda, recounted. ‘Everyone was screaming and crying…it happened so quickly.
‘It was just chaos. You don’t expect something like that to happen here. It’s Waukesha. It’s really safe. You don’t see that here.’
From her window she saw ‘a little girl get hit and go flying’ in the town’s Five Points area.
One entry in the parade, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, posted on its Facebook page that ‘members of the group and volunteers were impacted and we are waiting for word on their conditions.’
The post asked people to keep the Grannies and anyone else injured in their prayers.
The group’s profile describes them as a ‘group of grannies that meet once a week to practice routines for summer and winter parades.’
Chris Germain, co-owner of the Aspire Dance Center studio, had about 70 girls in the parade ranging from as young as two being pulled in wagons to age 18.
Germain, whose own three-year-old daughter was in the parade, said he was driving at the head of their entry when he saw a maroon SUV that ‘just blazed right past us.’
A police officer came by on foot chasing after, he said. Germain said he jumped out of his own SUV and gathered the girls who were with him.
‘There were small children laying all over the road, there were police officers and EMTs doing CPR on multiple members of the parade,’ he said.
Melinda Schultz, 33, of Waukesha had been watching the parade near the start of the parade’s route when a car came racing toward the route: ‘We just saw a red vehicle speeding down the road while the parade was going on,’ she told the NYPost.
‘We thought maybe it was an unmarked cop or something. All of a sudden we realized that wasn’t the case,’ she added. ‘People started screaming ‘move, move, move’ to get people out of the way.’
Corey Montiho, a Waukesha school district board member, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his daughter’s dance team was hit by the SUV.
‘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.
‘My wife and two daughters were almost hit. Please pray for everybody. Please pray.’
Angelito Tenorio, a West Allis alderman who is running for Wisconsin state treasurer, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he was watching the parade with his family when they saw the SUV come speeding into the area.
Emergency responders and passersby attend to injured people after a red SUV drove through the crowd on Sunday
The main street is taped off in Waukesha as authorities continue to investigate the scene of the disturbing crime
Police inspected the Wisconsin parade route after the local Christmas parade turned deadly on Sunday afternoon
‘Then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle,’ Tenorio said.
‘And then, and then we saw people running away or stopping crying, and there, there are people on the ground who looked like they’d been hit by the vehicle.’
Tenorio said he saw about 10 people, children and adults, on the ground who appeared to have been hit by the vehicle.
‘It just happened so fast,’ he said. ‘It was pretty horrifying.’
‘There were lots of families, lots of small children there. A red SUV came running down the street, hitting a lot of people in the parade,’ Kaylee Staral, an eyewitness who was at the parade with her mother and stepfather, told CNN.
Staral told The New York Times that she and her family were standing at the curb outside a store when the red SUV sped through in the middle of the parade.
Staral, an intern for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper, said the SUV plowed into the paradegoers between 20 and 30 minutes after the festivities began.
‘There were a lot of screams,’ Staral said. ‘We thought maybe it was Santa, but it was a red SUV and it hit a lot of people.’
Moments later, Staral said that there were ‘multiple people on the ground.’ She later clarified that there were some 20 people on the ground.
Staral also said police reported that gunshots were fired, but ‘I cannot confirm that for you.’
She said that it wasn’t clear if the driver was heard saying anything since he was ‘going very fast’ and that there was ‘a lot of screaming.’
Staral said that while it is unclear if the driver was intentionally trying to mow down people, the car ‘was going very fast and it was in the middle of the parade.’
‘It’s not like they somehow missed that there was a parade happening,’ she said.
Staral said that the annual holiday parade was held for the first time in two years after last year’s parade was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Video captured the terrifying moment a young girl was nearly hit by an SUV that barreled past her before running down a holiday parade killing several people in Wisconsin on Sunday.
A young girl dressed in all pink is seen dancing along to the music on the side of the street as the parade marches on behind her in a suburban of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
A red SUV is then seen speeding down the road alongside the parade route missing the young girl by inches as the crowd screams and the parade slows to a halt.
The camera turns to record down the street following the direction of the red SUV which is already out of sight. A few people are seen running towards the scene.
The car continued down the parade route killing at least five people and leaving at least 40 people injured, among them several elderly women who were part of a ‘Dancing Grannies’ float and members of a schoolgirls’ dance team, according to reports.
Other footage from the deadly scene showed red SUV collide into a group of people marching in the middle of the street during the annual holiday parade in Waukesha, some 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee.
The official social media account of the City of Waukesha indicates that the parade started at 4pm local time.
The parade route began at the intersection of Main Street and Pleasant Street. It starts westward down Main Street and ends at Wisconsin Avenue.
The parade was livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page.
At around 7:15pm local time, the Waukesha Police Department sent a push alert to cell phones of residents in the area asking them to shelter in place ‘within a half-mile radius of the 5 points downtown.’
Police and emergency vehicles arrive at the scene where an SUV plowed into a holiday parade in Waukesha on Sunday
Debris and candy canes left from crowds attending a holiday parade lies scattered along the route
A baby carriage and backpack was left completely deserted as people fled the area
The image above shows abandoned spectators’ chairs near the scene of the parade
Several people who attended the parade are seen in the aftermath of the incident in Waukesha on Sunday
Law enforcement officials are urging locals to avoid the downtown Waukesha area as the investigation is ongoing. Police have also set up a family reunification location at Metro Transit Center near Bank Street.
Another witness tweeted: ‘Right in front of my family, this man drives through the parade hitting as many people as possible while shooting out the window.
‘He ran over several elderly women who were dancing in the parade and many others please pray for everyone in Waukesha.’
The witness added: ‘Waukesha has some of the nicest families and people in this country.
‘This parade is one of the most heartwarming events of the year, this is not the America my little cousins, parents, aunts, uncles, ANYBODY deserves.
‘WHAT THE F***.’
Angela O’Boyle lives on the fifth floor of an apartment building that overlooks the parade route.
She told CNN that she was on her balcony watching the procession.
‘The next thing I heard were screams and turned my head and saw the car come and plow into the band that was just pass my balcony at that point,’ she said.
She added: ‘It hit at least two people right away and rolled over them.
‘And then continued down the road to People’s Park, which is at the end of the block – and then kept going, it didn’t stop.’
According to Boyle, people screamed and parents yelled out their children’s names.
‘It was not something that I wanted to see.’
A television news reporter for Fox6 TV tweeted photos from the scene.
The reporter, Sam Kraemer, tweeted: ‘The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office incident command post is on site.
‘There are bag chairs and handfuls of candy stranded all along Main Street. Another man told us he heard a handful of shots and ran for cover.
‘He was almost hit by the SUV as it pulled through.’
The Waukesha School District has cancelled classes for Monday.
‘The District will have additional counselors available at all buildings for all students and staff in need of support services,’ the school district website announced.
Waukesha tragedy comes as Wisconsin looks to heal from Kyle Rittenhouse trial: Teen acquitted in Kenosha shootings says he supports BLM movement and that his case had ‘nothing to with race’
The tragedy in Kenosha on Sunday night came just two days after Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of murder in last year’s fatal shootings of two men and the wounding of a third during unrest triggered by the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake.
Rittenhouse on Sunday said that he supports the Black Lives Matter movement and insisted that his case had nothing to do with race, as protests continue over his acquittal in Kenosha, Wisconsin and elsewhere.
‘This case has nothing to do with race. It had nothing to do with race, had to do with the right to self-defense,’ Rittenhouse told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview filmed on Sunday.
‘I’m not a racist person, I support the BLM movement and peacefully demonstrating,’ the teen added in an advance clip of the interview, which is set to air on Monday night.
The teen spoke out as protests continued across the country over the not-guilty verdict, including in Kenosha, where marchers denounced the trial’s outcome as racist.
In a partial transcript of the interview provided to DailyMail.com, Rittenhouse also slammed the prosecution in his case, after a jury agreed he acted in justifiable self-defense in acquitting him of all charges.
‘I believe there’s a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases,’ said Rittenhouse. It’s just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of someone.’
Kyle Rittenhouse has said that he supports the Black Lives Matter movement and insisted that his case had nothing to do with race, in an interview with Tucker Carlson due to air on Monday night
Rittenhouse was dressed in a suit and tie for the interview as the family dined at Smokin’ Jerry’s Tiki Hut Bar & Grill in Placida, Florida on Sunday afternoon
Protesters march around Kenosha near the court house on Sunday, the third day of protests over the verdict
Rittenhouse also described how he felt immediately after the shootings, including one confrontation with a pursuer who chased him with a gun.
‘I tell everybody there what happened. I said I had to do it. I was just attacked. I was dizzy, I was vomiting, I couldn’t breathe,’ he told Carlson.
Rittenhouse killed two men and wounded a third during confrontations amid anti-police protests in Kenosha last August, and testified that he acted in self-defense.
The case has polarized the nation, with furious accusations from the left that both Rittenhouse and the acquittal are racist, although he and the people who were shot were all white.
The teen’s interview with Tucker Carlson was believed to have been filmed on Sunday on Boca Grande Island, and on Sunday afternoon, Rittenhouse and his family were spotted having brunch in the area.
Rittenhouse was dressed in a suit and tie for the interview as the family dined at Smokin’ Jerry’s Tiki Hut Bar & Grill in Placida, Florida on Sunday afternoon.
The full Fox News interview will air on Carlson’s show Monday night, and the host’s unusual access to the teen was revealed after footage emerged that his team had been embedded with Rittenhouse during the trial.
In addition to Monday’s interview, online subscription service Fox Nation plans to air a documentary series on the case next month.
Rittenhouse’s trial attorney, Mark Richards, has said the Fox documentary crew was embedded with Rittenhouse’s team against his wishes, and suggested that the access was arranged by donors who contributed to his defense.
The teen’s interview with Tucker Carlson was believed to have been filmed on Sunday on Boca Grande Island
On Saturday a Fox News executive said the network did not pay Rittenhouse’s family for any special access during Rittenhouse’s murder trial or after his acquittal.
Justin Wells, senior executive producer of Tucker Carlson Tonight, told the AP that no payment was made for access, footage rights, legal fees or any other purpose to Rittenhouse or his family.
David Hancock, a spokesman for the Rittenhouse family, also said any potential payment by Fox ‘was never offered and it was never asked for and it was never discussed.’
The intention of the documentary is to memorialize the experience that Rittenhouse had during the trial and to show people who he really is, he said.
Protests over the verdict continued on Sunday in Kenosha, where a group of around 150 people gathered in the Civic Center Park outside the courthouse where Rittenhouse was cleared to protest the verdict.
BLM activists gather near the Kenosha County Courthouse before marching through the downtown. Several heavily armed people stood in the square among protesters keeping watch
Protestors gathering in opposition to the not guilty verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse near the Kenosha County courthouse in Kenosha on Sunday
Speakers warned of an economic boycott to force social change before marching some eight blocks around the lakeside city.
Eric Jordan and his 16-year-old daughter Jade walked with the marchers carrying assault-style rifles. ‘I’m an open-carry, Second Amendment-type guy,’ Jordan told DailyMail.com. ‘I carry when I pick oranges.
‘Everybody knows that I don’t go anywhere without it.’
Protestors carrying signs such as ‘Self Defense Is Not a Deliberate Headshot,’ ‘The Whole System is Guilty,’ and ‘F**k Kyle N His Freedom.’
They shouted ‘No Justice, No Peace,’ and ‘Say Their Names: Anthony and Jo Jo,’ referring to Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosebaum who were shot dead by Rittenhouse during protests against a police shooting in the town in August 2020.
Protests over the verdict continued on Sunday in Kenosha, where a group of around 150 people gathered in the Civic Center Park outside the courthouse where Rittenhouse was cleared to protest the verdict
Chicago: Over a thousand demonstrators gathered at Federal Plaza in Chicago on Saturday to protest the acquittal
Chicago: Reverend Jesse Jackson (center), marches in protest of the not guilty verdict on Saturday
New York: About 200 protesters rally outside Barclays Center and march along Flatbush Avenue after Rittenhouse acquittal
The Rev. Jesse Jackson was due to join the march but did not attend in the end.
In his place was Bishop Tavis Grant, national field director of Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition, who said Jackson was talking to Congressional leaders about the possibility of charging Rittenhouse federally.
The protests in Kenosha have thus far remained peaceful, but in New York five were arrested on riot charges Friday after storming through a quiet neighborhood and vandalizing cars.