On Sunday night, officials in Waukesha, Wisconsin, reported that many of the more than 20 persons injured when a car struck pedestrians during a Christmas parade had died as a result of their injuries.
"The vehicle collided with more than 20 people. Some of the victims are minors, and this incident resulted in a few fatalities," Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said during a press conference.
First responders "transported a total of 11 adults and 12 pediatric patients to six area hospitals," according to Waukesha Fire Chief Steve Howard. He stated that no specifics on injuries or fatalities were known at the time due to authorities notifying the families of the deceased.
According to witnesses and video evidence of the incident, the driver of the red SUV slammed through the crowd during the parade.
The attack was captured on video and live-streamed on the City of Waukesha's Facebook page. The video shows the SUV rushing into the parade behind a school marching band. Other films have been released elsewhere, including one in which the SUV is supposedly seen smashing through a police barricade.
One frightening video appears to show the SUV plowing over paradegoers.
Thompson stated in the aftermath of the sad attack that the suspect's vehicle had been located and a person of interest had been apprehended.
"This is an ongoing investigation," he stated. "At this point, it is unknown whether the incident bears any resemblance to terrorism."
According to one witness, the driver ran over "numerous elderly women" while shooting out the window.
"Right in front of my family, this man drives through the parade, shooting out the window and hitting as many people as possible," one parade spectator remarked on Twitter. "He ran over several elderly women dancing in the parade, as well as a number of others, so please pray for everyone in Waukesha."
Another witness described the folks they saw lying on the ground following the incident to local media.
"As we walked back between the buildings, we noticed an SUV crossover putting the pedal to the metal and speeding along the parade route," West Allis alderman Angelito Tenorio told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
According to its Facebook page, Waukesha Police have issued a "shelter in place" order and established a family reunion facility.
"There is no threat," Thompson stated. He explained that the shelter in place order was issued solely to help police as they continued to canvass the crime scene.
Several eyewitness stated that they heard gunfire.
Thompson acknowledged that a firearm was discharged during the encounter, but police "believe there were no shots fired from the vehicle."
"An officer fired his weapon at the suspect's vehicle in an attempt to stop it," he said. "There were no injuries to bystanders as a result of the weapon discharge."
Alderman Don Paul Browne informed the Journal-Sentinel that he was marching in the parade's first row at the time of the event.
"I am stunned," he stated. "This parade attracts spectators from over the state, including Jefferson County. I am paralyzed. It's quite distressing."
On Twitter, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow requested everyone's prayers. "Please pray for our community tonight in the aftermath of the Waukesha Christmas Parade's horrific events," he wrote. "This is an unbelievable tragedy that affects us all as we attempt to overcome two difficult years and reintroduce our beloved Christmas customs. Keep the impacted families in your thoughts as we attempt to provide any assistance we can."