Eyewitnesses recount harrowing videos they recorded during Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy

NOW: Eyewitnesses recount harrowing videos they recorded during Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy


WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Videos posted on social media show the moments before, during and after a driver maneuvered their SUV through a crowded Christmas parade, and some of the people behind those videos shared their accounts of what they saw through their own eyes.

Jesús Ochoa was livestreaming the parade on his cellphone when he captured the moment the SUV accelerated down the street, nearly hitting a little girl who was dancing in the street.

"I saw people screaming around me," Ochoa told CBS 58. Ochoa was attending the parade with his wife and daughter. His wife was scheduled to participate in the parade, but happened to not be feeling well that day and made the decision to just spectate.

When the vehicle sped by, Ochoa walked down the street where the SUV hit people and the crowd dispersed, leaving behind lawn chairs and other belongings.

Ochoa said he was grateful his wife and children were not harmed, despite being so close to the horror.

"I talked to my wife this morning and we said thanks to God for we are safe," Ochoa said.

Alma Garcia was with her children and friends from her church when the incident occurred.

"The only thing we could do was grab the kids, make sure everybody was safe," Garcia said in an interview.

Garcia and other adult members of the group took the children to a nearby business and hid in the back kitchen area. The group braced for more potential violence as it was unknown if the danger was over.

"Keep them safe, even if we had to give our own lives for them," Garcia said of protecting the children. "You know any parent can be thinking the same way."

The Ciriaco family recorded multiple dramatic videos capturing different moments, including when an officer fired his weapon at the SUV and the aftermath of the parade.

"It was like, horrifying," Xiomara Ciriaco, a student at Waukesha South High School, said in an interview.

Ciriaco attended the Christmas parade with her family as part of an annual tradition. When the SUV hit parade participants, they were all in shock. But after gathering themselves, they helped victims however they could.

Xiomara and her brothers are bilingual and used their language skills to help Spanish-speaking people who were injured and in need in translation assistance between them and first responders.

"I did my best," Ciriaco said. "I helped this one lady to interpret. I was in the ambulance with her and traveled with her to the hospital and I just stayed there 'til like 10 p.m. to help her translate everything that I could since there was a lot of people and there wasn't a lot of interpreters."

Xiomara and the injured person she was with were taken to Aurora Summit in Oconomowoc.

The Ciriaco family said they are working on helping raise funds for some of the victims who were hurt.

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