'Multiple' people dead and dozens injured after SUV drives through Waukesha Holiday Parade

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- There are multiple people dead and several injured after an SUV drove through the Waukesha Holiday Parade route on Sunday, Nov. 21.

More than 20 people, including children, were taken to six area hospitals. Authorities did not indicate the exact number of deaths due to family notifications. 

“We will not be releasing information on fatalities at this time as we work to inform loved ones,” the Waukesha chief of police said.

According to a statement from the Milwaukee Archdiocese, one of their Catholic priests, as well as multiple parishioners and Waukesha Catholic school children are among the injured. 

The Waukesha police chief announced that a person of interest is in custody. 

The White House is monitoring the situation, according to an administration official. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Milwaukee field office is also aware of the incident, according to an FBI spokesperson.

Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have responded to assist the Waukesha Police, according to Erik Longnecker, Acting Division Chief of the Public Affairs Division of the ATF.

As a result of the incident, the School District of Waukesha canceled classes Monday, Nov. 22, for all grades 4K-12. Counselors will be available at all buildings for students who may need support. 

A shelter in place warning was issued by the Waukesha Police Department at approximately 7:05 p.m. and lasted until around 8:08 p.m. 

The police chief said there was no threat to the community, and later explained that shelter in place alert was to keep people from interfering at the scene.

Cellphone video captured the red SUV speeding through the crowd, hitting pedestrians and accelerating throughout the route.

The parade area was evacuated. A CBS 58 viewer shared photos of what appears to be the red SUV parked at a home on Maple Avenue. 

"This is an unspeakable tragedy, affecting us all as we work to overcome an extremely challenging two years and resume our cherished holiday traditions," Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow said in a statement.

"I had just finished participating in the parade with my wife when I noticed police sirens. Shortly afterward, I learned that a vehicle drove through the parade route injuring many people. Please pray for our community tonight after the horrific events at the Waukesha Christmas Parade."

Farrow added officials are still investigating the incident to understand what happened and asked for prayers for the community.

"Kathy and I are praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act," Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said on Twitter. "I'm grateful for the first responders and folks who acted quickly to help, and we are in contact with local partners as we await more information."

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