'Person of interest' pictured as five killed and more than 40 injured after car driven into Christmas parade

The man police are questioning after an SUV was driven through a Christmas parade in Wisconsin has been pictured. The police are questioning a man, named in the US media as Darrell Brooks and inves

'Person of interest' pictured as five killed and more than 40 injured after car driven into Christmas parade

The man police are questioning after an SUV was driven through a Christmas parade in Wisconsin has been pictured.

The police are questioning a man, named in the US media as Darrell Brooks and investigators are looking into whether the SUV driver was fleeing a crime.

Six children are in critical condition, five people were killed and more than 40 were injured a red SUV hit dozens of people in the city of Waukesha, about 20 miles west of central Milwaukee, just before 5pm on Sunday.

NBC reported that Brooks, 39, from Wisconsin, is a person of interest being held in custody. He has not been charged with any crime, it said.

Wisconsin live updates: Police investigating whether suspect was fleeing knife incident

An SUV speeds into a crowd of people during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Pic: Jesus Ochoa
Image: An SUV speeds into a crowd of people during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Pic: Jesus Ochoa
Police in Waukesha have urged people to avoid the downtown area
Image: Police in Waukesha have urged people to avoid the downtown area

President Joe Biden said he, and his family, are praying for those suffering.

One video showed a woman screaming "Oh my God!" repeatedly as a group of young dancers was struck, while a father described going from "one crumpled body to the other" in search of his daughter.

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"At this time, we can confirm that five people are deceased and over 40 are injured," the Waukesha Police Department said on its Facebook page. "However, these numbers may change as we collect additional information."

The pediatric trauma center at Wisconsin's Children's Hospital treated 18 kids aged between three and 16 years old, including three sets of siblings.

Injuries ranged from facial abrasions to broken bones, to serious head injuries.

Of them, ten are in intensive care - six are in critical condition, three are listed as serious and one is "fair". Eight patients were listed as "fair" condition and are in other departments that are not intensive care - two of whom were discharged last night.

Dr Michael Meyer, from the paediatric critical care team, said he could not say which dance troupes were involved, adding: "This has impacted a great number of members of our community and the groups that participated in the parade."

Children's Wisconsin has established a mental and behavioural support line for families.

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SUV misses child before being driven into crowd

Earlier, officials said a "person of interest" who may have a significant criminal history was being questioned overnight, adding that investigators were looking into the possibility the driver had been involved in an earlier incident involving a knife and was fleeing when the vehicle reached the parade.

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The speeding SUV appeared to approach the parade from behind, and police chief Dan Thompson said an officer has shot at it in an attempt to stop it as it crashed through the barriers. It is estimated it was travelling at about 40mph.

No one was injured by the police gunshots.

Spilt candy is seen on Main Street the morning after a car plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Cheney Orr
Spilt candy is seen on Main Street the morning after a car plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Cheney Orr
Image: Spilt candy is seen on Main Street the morning after
A shoe circled in spray paint to mark as evidence are seen on Main Street the morning after a car plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Cheney Orr
Image: The SUV hit dozens of people

Eleven adults and 12 children were taken to hospital after being hit by the vehicle and Mr Thompson confirmed there were "some fatalities". Many took themselves to hospital to be treated for injuries.

Corey Montiho, a Waukesha school district board member, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his daughter's dance team was hit by the vehicle.

"There were pompoms and shoes and spilled hot chocolate everywhere," he said.

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'It was absolute chaos... people screaming'

"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."

Chris Germain, co-owner of the Aspire Dance Center studio, had about 70 people in the parade, including children as young as 2 being pulled in wagons and participants up to 18 years old.

"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.

Milwaukee Dancing Grannies confirmed members of their troupe are among the dead.

In a Facebook post, the group said: "Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies.

"Their eyes gleamed... joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue... held us together.

"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 prayers."

The scene after a vehicle ploughs through a Christmas parade in in Waukesha, Wisconsin
Image: The scene after a vehicle ploughs through a Christmas parade in in Waukesha, Wisconsin

Angela O'Boyle, whose apartment overlooked the Christmas parade, told CNN she heard people screaming and shouting for their children.

She said: "All I heard was screaming and then people yelling out their children's names."

Ms O'Boyle added that she "saw the car come and plow into the band that was just past my balcony at that point".

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Medics attend casualties in Waukesha street

"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."