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Multiple Injuries After Car Runs Through Holiday Parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired November 21, 2021 - 19:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: And was it clear to you that this driver was trying to run over people?

KAYLEE STARAL, WITNESS, BUSINESS REPORTING INTERN, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: I can't tell you for sure or not but it was going very fast. And, you know, was it in the middle of the parade. It's not like they somehow missed that there was a parade happening.

BROWN: Right. That's what I'm trying to create, this picture of. So basically you have this parade going on in Waukesha. Then suddenly this red SUV comes and again describe to us the circumstances of the parade, where the car was and so forth.

STARAL: It has been the Annual Holiday Waukesha Parade and I believe that it was on hiatus because of COVID. This is its first back. And around 20 to 30 minutes in the downtown part of the city, there were lots of family, lots of children there, and a red SUV came running down the street, hitting, you know, a lot of the people in the parade. It probably went 30 miles per hour.

BROWN: Wow. And what did you witness when that happened in terms of it hitting people? You said that there were families there, there's children there. What did you see?

STARAL: A lot of family members with small children were running into the stores trying to get off that main street. You also saw a lot of people running up to help those that were hit. You know, right, just right in front of me in the little spot where I was sitting, probably four people were down so there were a lot of people that ran to go check on them. And I believe that the four people in front of me were still breathing but they were down, they were not moving.

BROWN: And so from what you saw, there were a lot of injured people. You don't know if any have been killed because this is still --

STARAL: I don't know.

BROWN: OK. It sounds like it was just pure mayhem.

STARAL: It threw a lot of people by shock, a lot of people were just there for a good time to get back into the holiday season, and I think a lot of people are just in shock right now. BROWN: Understandably. Is there anything else you want to add about

what you're thinking right now, what you're feeling after going through such a horrifying experience?

STARAL: I just hope that everyone is OK. I think, you know, it is a tough generation and my heart goes out to everyone that was hit, that got inspected. And there were a lot of children there, too, who witnessed that, so I just really hope that everyone there is, you know, safe and feeling with this in the best way that they can.

BROWN: And we have just got this video of what we believe is the red SUV speeding through the Waukesha holiday parade.

There you see it. The red SUV there that the young woman I just interviewed described going down the parade route. We see the parade- goers there looking by as this car goes fast by. But it looks as though the incident where the car hit people happened, presumably after this.

Joining me now is CNN senior law enforcement analyst, Andrew McCabe. He is the former deputy director of the FBI.

So I'm not sure if you saw that video there, Andy, but clearly the video -- the SUV was going fast. The witness that we interviewed said at least 30 miles per hour down the parade route. What stands out to you right now as we await for more details to come in?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Pam, it's a remarkable piece of video and I think the first thing that anyone notices watching it is the speed with which the vehicle is traveling. It's -- clearly appears to be kind of an intentional, on an intentional path. Not what you would expect to see if there was someone driving who was having a medical emergency and, you know, the car was out of control.

The other thing is that was odd to me is that -- if -- he seems to pass all the parade-goers that are in that frame, that one short frame that we see. So, there doesn't appear to be anyone struck in that group of what are likely high school marching-band members. The car seems to avoid them and drive right by. So obviously not enough to draw any strong conclusions at this point but a remarkable piece of video.

BROWN: Right. It strikes me that there -- you know, the people there -- the participants and so forth -- they are watching this car go by like, wait, this car's going really fast. Presumably, everything happened after this because, otherwise, you'd probably see people running, right, amid the mayhem. Again, we're still waiting to find out more information. But we have not heard yet from police about this car, the driver of the car, if they have been able to find the driver. How concerning is it to you if this driver's still out there?


MCCABE: Well, I think it's understandable that we haven't heard from police yet. I mean, they have their hands very full at this moment in trying to administer, you know, to ensure that the folks at the parade are safe. To ensure that anyone who may have been struck by this vehicle is receiving appropriate medical attention. You know, so there is a lot going on and it maybe, it's possible that they don't have a lot to report yet about the driver of the vehicle.

If the driver of the vehicle's not in custody, then they are obviously very busy trying to locate and apprehend that person. So I think we need to just kind of step back and give the first responders and law enforcement an opportunity to get their hands around this situation, to get it to a safe and stable status. And then I'm sure we'll hear from them once they've done that.

BROWN: We don't know yet if the FBI is being brought in. I have reached out to the FBI, waiting to find out more details. But what is going on among law enforcement? This is a huge task right now to preserve the crime scene, to take care of all of the victims, and to find this driver.

MCCABE: That's absolutely right. So it's administering to those victims first. Right? Making sure those folks are triaged appropriately and that the most injured are getting immediate medical attention. Beyond that, you want to, you want to identify as many other folks who may have seen these events, may have been in important places to have been able to witness some of what happened, to at least get them identified so that you can go back and interview those people later.

And then of course, you know, you have the driver of this vehicle, who you desperately want to have in custody. You want to have that person identified. And then you want to share that identity with other law enforcement entities. And that's really where the FBI comes in. I'm quite sure that the local FBI field office has probably already offered some degree of assistance. You will likely see them helping process the crime scene.

The FBI has particular resources and personnel and assets that can do that on a very large scale effectively. You know, things you've seen like at the way the FBI handled the Boston marathon bombing, other places like that. We have a multiple blocks-long crime scene. So I am sure that offer of assistance has been made but, you know, the local police may not be in a position to really receive that assistance yet with all the things they have to do on a much more emergent basis.

BROWN: Right. Because this is still fresh. This parade started at 5:30. And it wasn't long after that, that this red SUV came plowing down, according to the eyewitness we spoke to, and we have this video, again, want to be very clear with our viewers. We have not confirmed that this is in fact the car, this vehicle in the incident. But it does match the description. And as we have talked about, it is going very fast down this parade route.

This was a holiday parade, Christmas parade in Waukesha. Waukesha, an hour east of Madison, an hour north of Kenosha. A midsized town. Folks just trying to gather there for their holiday parade, their annual- holiday parade, and then this happens, Andy. MCCABE: You know, it's shocking and offensive and kind of

destabilizing every time we hear about one of these things. But actually, Pam, as you know, if you step back and think about the context of these sorts of attacks, now we don't know that this is an attack. We don't know that it was an intentional act. Certainly looks like that from the -- from the video clip we've seen but all that remains to be seen.

But we do know that in the past, both here in the United States and in other places around the world, extremists of all different types have used vehicular attacks on large-scale public crowds, parades, and holiday gatherings, things like that, in the past. We've seen this. It happened in Germany at a Christmas fair. It's happened in Barcelona at a parade. These are all several years ago. And of course, we had our own experience with it in Charlottesville at the Unite the Right rally.

So it is not an unheard-of tactic for extremists, folks who are really hellbent on perpetuating violence on a terrorizing scale to resort to an act like this.

BROWN: And this, as we know, a parade with a bunch of families gathered. That would be considered a soft target. You ought to assume risk any time you gather in public, right? But a parade, you know, and if you want to cause harm, and again, we don't know the motive here, we don't know the circumstances. But if that is your intent, that is why you hear from law enforcement officials about soft targets like places like a holiday parade.

MCCABE: That's absolutely right.


So it's -- you know, it's one thing for large public events in the nation's capital or in New York City, places like that where you have lots and lots of law enforcement resources and financial support that pours into hardening those events as targets as much as you possibly can. But the fact is that gatherings of Americans who are celebrating tradition or holidays or religious events or sporting events, this happens thousands of times around the country everywhere that we live.

And it's just impossible to perfectly secure every one of these events. So we refer to them as soft targets because we know that there is a certain amount of vulnerability. But on the other hand, you know, we're Americans. We want to live. We want to be free. We want to gather and, especially now, coming off the pandemic, I think people are particularly, you know, really excited about getting back to some of those sorts of events and those communal activities. And so this is just a lethal dilemma that we try to balance.

BROWN: Right. And just for our viewers that are just now tuning in, we want to update you on this breaking news. Reset. Multiple injuries after this car plowed through this holiday parade. An eyewitness I spoke to earlier said it was a red SUV going fast. This eyewitness said about 30 miles per hour. This was -- she said there were families gathered. She saw kids and families run toward shops when this happened, as the mayhem unfolded.

Clearly it caught the parade-goers by shock. She said she was told by police there were at least 30 down. We are waiting for more information about the circumstances, about the injuries, if there are any deaths. Clearly this is still very fresh. The parade just started at 5:30. It wasn't long after that when the incident happened. You see the fire trucks there, the police cars there. This is an all-hands-on- deck situation here for local authorities as our Anthony Barksdale put it.

I want to bring back Andy McCabe.

So, Andy, in your experience in the FBI, what are investigators doing right now? You've got the investigators there on the scene. Also, you have the driver. We don't know if the driver is in custody or not. Again, just update our viewers, from a law-enforcement perspective, what is going on right now in these early hours after this incident unfolded?

MCCABE: Sure. So, of course, Pam, the first priority is tending to the victims and the first responders, medics, fire personnel, police are doing that first and foremost. The investigators are trying to gather information about what happened. Where is this vehicle? Who was driving it? Is that person in custody? They are identifying potential witnesses to these events. They are trying to, as much as they can, interview those witnesses on the scene and line them up for further interviews later.

The investigative support side is drilling down on everything we know about this vehicle and the person or persons who may have been inside of it. As soon as those identities are known, they're shared with the FBI, with DHS, with other entities to see, like, what is the sum total of what the law enforcement and intelligence communities knows about this person? Hovering in the back of every -- the mind of every investigator is whether or not you should be preparing for a second potential attack, a second potential casualty event.

And so you are looking for any sorts of connections or associations that might give you concerns in that regard. But this is very much the first hour, right? They are -- for every piece of information they can find to understand what happened here, who is behind it, and why did they do it?

BROWN: Andrew McCabe, thank you so much.

We have some fresh video coming in. Also an eyewitness right on the other side of this break as we continue to cover this breaking news.



BROWN: And we are back with our breaking news out of Waukesha, Wisconsin, where a car has plowed into a crowd watching and participating in a holiday parade. We are getting new video from an eyewitness. As you can see, it shows a red SUV speeding through the parade

barriers, an officer running behind it. We are still working to gather more details on what happened. It appears you can hear shots fired. We don't know if that is, in fact, the case. But you can also hear people yelling there in the background amid the mayhem.

Joining me now, CNN national security analyst and former assistant secretary of Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem. Also with me, former acting Baltimore police commissioner, Anthony Barksdale.

Juliette, what is your reaction to this new video?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So we have to be very careful. Obviously, there is a red car that is going into a populated area but what I am also seeing is a red car trying to avoid people. And there is lots of talk about gunfire. We, at CNN, are not confirming that. The police have not confirmed it. We don't know if what we're hearing is actually a car going through fence. So this is why, you know, we just be -- we'll be very careful about what we're seeing.

We also don't have a number about what mass casualty means. I think for the public, that means a lot of dead bodies. It does not in the parlance of public safety, mass can generally mean between four and five. Casualty does not necessarily mean fatality. It means someone who needs medical assistance. So we have a range of possibilities here. And a lot of video that is showing, I would say, inconclusive driving about whether this would be purposeful or not. So, this is the range of possibilities and we should not assume anything because we live in a country in which those assumptions can actually also -- can be dangerous.


So that's what I'm seeing right now. And I hope, as I often do, that the police come out with the facts or at least as much as they know sooner rather than later. These delays have a way of being filled with not great stuff.

BROWN: Right. And we're being very careful here on this program to be transparent with our viewers about how much we still do not know. We do not know the circumstances. I did interview that eyewitness, who saw the event take place, saw people down. But we don't know the motive, what was behind this. What the current state of play is, how many injuries. I mean, there are still so many questions.

So really, we're trying to look at this video without the context we really need here, Anthony Barksdale. Tell us what you think is going on right now behind the scenes, what you gather from these videos without having more of those crucial details at hand right now.

ANTHONY BARKSDALE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: You're really trying to gather as much accurate data, information as possible. You've got officers going to the hospital. Following ambos. You've got so much going on. But you have to be sure that accurate information is sent up the chain of command, to the top of the incident command system structure. Before, you know, you jump to any conclusions, you want to be sure.

Is this a vehicle just going through a crowd? Or is this a vehicle doing a drive-by? Are there shell casings? You know, do we have signs that there were shots fired? Yes or no? And you have to be sure when you ask these questions that you are getting the right information. The worst thing you can do is get the public bad information because you're rushing to just put something out. Get it right. Then push it out.

BROWN: So we just as we update our viewers, this is the aftermath of what unfolded at this holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Started around 5:30 there. Not long after this, we're told from eyewitnesses, the car plowed through and there were several people down. Again, multiple injuries is what the reporting coming in. But nothing official from police. And we are hoping that police will provide more of those details right now.

This is a mid-sized town there in Wisconsin, an hour from Madison, from Kenosha. I'm told. And I think we have a map, too, of the parade route. This is an annual holiday parade.

Anthony, would police there be planning for such a scenario to take place for -- you know, because as we've talked about earlier in the program, look, you got a bunch of people gathering, that is a soft target. Would they train for such a scenario?

BARKSDALE: When you're going to have a parade, you do schedule -- you're looking at your schedule, how your officers are deployed along the route. Are streets shut off? That is part of typical planning. The thing is, is that based on the size of the department, which I don't know, I don't know how detailed this plan was. I don't know their staffing which would come into play for larger events typically.

But we're seeing time and time again where planning for events is crucial to public safety. So I'm not sure what that agency does there but they definitely need support right now.

BROWN: Right. And what would that support look like, Juliette? Would this be something the FBI and, you know, other law enforcement agencies would come in? Go ahead.

KAYYEM: Not necessarily. So the way the system would work and just picking up on what Anthony, so people who are in small towns who wonder how this works is that, you know, you will have the local police and fire department handle most incidents. And then they have what we call mutual aid systems that come into place so that when more capacity is needed, you would have nearby cities, towns, counties come in and basically surge resources.

And even big cities need this. We needed this in the Boston marathon, which was a purposeful bombing. You know, we needed lots and lots of jurisdictions coming in. So that's basically what you're probably seeing, depend -- or what you're seeing, depending on the amount of the injuries. And the same is true in terms of the hospitals and public health, that we know most jurisdictions small or large know how to triage casualties and injuries so that those less injured would be driven further away simply because they can stand the time.

As I said, you're also looking at family unification, which is key during the holidays. People are there with kids. Maybe older kids who they separated from. So all of those are happening. And look, in a society like ours, we are always going to have soft targets. So regardless of what the incident is or what the motive is, you are going to have so targets. We are a country that likes parades, concerts, sporting events. That's good in that sense. So what we've learned is you try to minimize the harm.


And I think one of the challenges is has always been and may continue to be vehicular either accident, purposeful, whatever, we don't know yet in terms of these urban environments. It's just a hard thing to stop. You saw some police possibly trying to stop them, and that's going to be a challenge. But -- in the future.

BROWN: Right. And again, we do not know. This is a screen grab from one of the videos we have.

KAYYEM: Right.

BROWN: We don't know if this was the car that plowed into people. But an eyewitness we spoke to earlier did say it was a red SUV that was going fast. At least 30 miles per hour from what she could tell. So again, these videos are coming in. We are waiting for more facts and we hope that police can provide that. I know they have a lot on their hands, though, right now understandably.

So, Juliette Kayyem and Anthony Barksdale, stay with me. Our breaking news continues after this short break. We have a reporter there live on the scene with a report on this breaking news.



BROWN: We are turning to our breaking news this hour. A terrifying incident unfolds at a holiday parade in Waukesha. A car has plowed into a crowd of people gathered for a holiday parade there.

And we are getting new video from an eyewitness. It shows a red -- you can see right there -- it shows a red SUV speeding through the parade barriers. Apparently, an officer running behind it. Authorities have not commented on whether the red vehicle is responsible. We are still waiting to learn more about the circumstances, how this all unfolded, who was behind it.

Here is another view. The SUV is barreling down the parade route. Look, right there. Just moments after a marching band steps out of frame. One witness told me that she could hear the thud of people being struck, and that police on the scene told her as many as 30 people were injured.

We have not received official confirmation from police. But I want to bring in CNN's Natasha Chen, who is on the scene right now. Natasha, what are you seeing?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Pamela. They pushed media back from the barricade right over there just a moment ago, asking us to get further away from obviously what they are trying to do to help secure this scene here and to treat people. Everywhere you look -- when we drove into this town -- there are lights with police cars, ambulances parked on every street, pretty much that we saw. And right now, there are first responders still coming to the scene. We still saw ambulances coming to the scene. And it -- it is -- we're hearing sirens, as well.

So, there is a lot of confusion and chaos among the people. We saw a group walking past me actually very emotional on their phones, still trying to figure out exactly what's going on. We understand that this city has set up a reunification point, and so that may help in terms of making sure people can find their loved ones and find information about them.

So, right now, it is a lot of just immediate trying to figure out who else needs help. It looks like these first responders here, you know, are a few blocks away from this incident actually happened, and this is as close as we can get to show you sort of the response happening right now.

It -- I don't know if you can see -- there is a group of people actually walking toward us right now on the sidewalk. And they are holding their children close. There are a lot of people, in those moments that you probably saw from the cell phone video from the city's Facebook live stream.

People who were here for a, you know, holiday event. A place where they could be happy and celebrate the season, and now they are just in shock and in fear, and some people that we saw in tears, as well. Just a lot of people here coming through with their families trying to get away from the scene. Obviously, a really devastating event when people were trying, again, to celebrate the holidays. And I think when you spoke to the intern for the local paper, she was talking about how this was, you know, postponed because of COVID-19 last year and this is the first time it's back. So, a lot of emotions here and a lot that we're still trying to figure out.

They have told the media to gather at city hall, which is where we're going to next to see if we can get any information from city officials about what they know happened in this situation. But you -- as you said, what we're see in those little clips that people have posted on social media, seeing this red car speed through and you hear the sound of gunshots, and, again, not confirmed, yet, from officials whether they believe that car of people is responsible for what happened here.

So, we are going to talk to some more folks, see what we can find out. But as far as the response goes, this -- I would count dozens, right, dozens of ambulances, police cars, multiple agencies here. I see the sheriff here, the police here. This is the incident-command post right here. Also saw another team, you know, coming by with a drone. So perhaps they are trying to get a better view of what they are dealing with exactly. [19:35:00]

Pamela, that's all we know for now but we are going to work on more.

BROWN (voice over): Then we hope to get some more answers from officials there on the ground. We do expect a press conference from the mayor there of Waukesha. So, hopefully, he can fill us in on some of these crucial details.

And I know, we are trying to piece it together here, Natasha. We have a map now of the parade route that I would like to put up on the screen. It looks to be about ten blocks or so, you see, from the start to the end. Can you give us any sense, Natasha, of where in the parade route this incident occurred? You said you were a few blocks from it where you are standing now, right?

CHEN: That's what I have been told is that we're a few blocks from the actual route itself. But because the police have tried to push us back much further --

BROWN: Okay, I am going to interrupt you. Let's listen to the mayor.

MAYOR SHAWN REILLY, WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN: -- situation for the city of Waukesha. we don't have all the details. We can't provide details at this point. But we will have a press conference at 7:30 and to speak now is our police chief, Dan Thompson.

CHIEF DAN THOMPSON, WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN POLICE: Good evening. Approximately 4:39 P.M. -- and I will just give a brief summary -- we will do a formal briefing at 7:30 -- but about 4:39 P.M., a red SUV drove into our Christmas parade that we were holding downtown. More than 20 individuals were injured, as a result of this incident.

We -- the Waukesha Police Department has recovered a suspect vehicle. It's an ongoing investigation. Victims were actually transported from the scene via ambulance. Officers actually transported some of the injured personnel and took them to the hospitals and some victims were actually transported by family members or friends to the hospital. It was a very tragic incident, very chaotic.

There is no other threats involved. We -- the scene is now safe. Again, it's very tragic incident and my prayers and thoughts go out to the family members and we will give a formal briefing at 7:30. Thank you.

REPORTER: Can you talk about a suspect?

REPORTER: Do you have a person in custody?

THOMPSON: We have a person of interest that we are looking into at this time.

REPORTER: In custody?

THOMPSON: Like I said, we have a person of interest. I have to get more information because I don't want to give you bad information, okay? So, thank you.

REILLY: Sorry, guys, that's it, 7:30. Fire station number one is where we are going to do the rest of the press conference, okay?

REPORTER: Address of that?

REILLY: 130 West Saint Paul.


BROWN (voice over): Okay. Here we go. We just heard there from officials on the ground giving us some new information there. They're looking into a person of interest. They have recovered the suspect's vehicle, they said. More than 20 people injured as a result of this tragic incident.

I want to go right to Natasha Chen. She is actually there on the scene.

Natasha, back to you. Really stunning that they have already recovered the suspect's vehicle and they are looking into a person of interest now. And that, important to note, no other threats -- that is what the official said -- no other threats and that the scene is secure.

CHEN: That's really important because we can see from the looks on people's faces here in town as they are walking through on their phones, trying to find their loved ones or trying to figure out what's going on, that's really pertinent information.

Where we are right now, I will just reset for people, is by an incident command vehicle. It's by the command post. We're seeing multiple agencies here, including the county sheriff, including Waukesha Police. You see the barricades a block or so in front of us. We were down there just a few moments ago, and they asked all the media to move back. And we understand that the actual parade route is several blocks from where we are because you can see, there are actually multiple layers of barriers here.

And, you know, we have seen small groups of people walk past us from time to time. There was one group, you know -- just keep in mind, it's shivering -- really cold temperatures here -- they were just on their phones, really frantically trying to figure out where to go, another group holding their children tight as they walked away from this scene.

We understand that the city has set up a reunification spot for people to gather, so that should be very helpful in terms of people finding out information about their loved ones. They also asked us to go to city hall for further information. It sounds like the mayor, of course, just gave us a little bit more. Again, saying that more than 20 people have been injured, that they have recovered a suspect vehicle, that they have a person of interest.

So, we'll definitely be asking more questions about that and they seem to be -- wanting to give us updates from time to time from the fire station. [19:40:06]


BROWN (voice over): And we will be getting an update, they said, an hour from now in another press conference. All right, thank you so much for that, Natasha. Stand by for us. We will be coming back to you soon.

But in the meantime, joining me now is CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst Andrew McCabe. He is the former deputy director of the FBI.

So, you heard there that update from officials. They said the suspect's vehicle had been recovered, and that they're looking into a person of interest. What does that mean exactly?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, you know, the recovery of the vehicle, Pam, gives you a lot of leads to immediately follow, right? So, the registration on the vehicle comes back to an address.

It comes back to a vehicle owner who may or may not be the driver of the vehicle, but these are all avenues that investigators are running down very quickly. And it's likely based on that investigation that stems from the vehicle itself, that takes them to someone who they believe may be responsible for this activity. It's also possible that they recovered additional evidence from inside the vehicle. There may have been identifying documents in there. There may have been, you know, other personal items. There could be weapons inside the vehicle, all sorts of things that you can recover right on the scene from the vehicle that will drive the initial phases of the investigation.

BROWN: And, again, I know we are trying to glean from very little information, but before when we spoke, you had mentioned it appears to be intentional. We don't know that for sure. It appears to be intentional. From what you heard from the police chief there, are you leaning more towards that, that it was, in fact, an intentional act based on what he said?

MCCABE: Well, it certainly -- you know, I don't know that what he said adds a lot to that. But I think the video -- two videos that we believe are the vehicle in question, the two videos that we have been showing of the red SUV, in the one, clearly, the driver is plowing through a number of barricades that are set up to keep vehicles off the parade route. That certainly seems like an intentional act.

It doesn't look like a vehicle that's out of control, a vehicle that -- whose driver may be having a medical emergency or something like that. It looks like a driver, who is very purposefully pursuing his course despite the barricades that are in front of him. And then, of course, we see the one where he is driving actually through the parade route and comes close to the marching band. So, it looks like an intentional piloting of that vehicle but, again, we have really, very few facts to base it on.

Now, I should also say, Pam, that an intentional act of driving that car down that street doesn't necessarily mean that it's any sort of an attack targeting the parade. It could be someone who was, you know, fleeing the scene of another crime. It could be somebody who is trying to, you know, exit the area and then, you know, found themselves in the parade route and did a horrible, horrible thing in the process. So,we really don't know the world of possible motivations leading to this tragedy. It's still very open.

BROWN: And, again, we are waiting for more information. We hope to find out from police a little bit more details in a more formal press conference an hour from now.

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin responded to this incident. She tweeted out, the horrific violence at the Waukesha Christmas parade is just heartbreaking. Please keep the victims in your prayers tonight.

It stood out to me, of course, that the police chief there said there are no other threats and they said they are looking into a person of interest. How do you think they were able to make that determination just by finding the car and having this person of interest?

MCCABE: Really hard to say at this point, Pam. Certainly, that comment seems to suggest that they have some understanding of why this person of interest may have done this, and they believe that -- maybe believe that he was likely acting alone. But, you know, I thought from the way he phrased that comment in those brief remarks, the police chief kind of left it open. It almost seemed as if he were saying they're not aware of any other threats. Maybe there is no intelligence, pre-existing intelligence or threat reporting another threat. So, we will have to see.

Hopefully, at the press conference at 7:30, we will get more details about exactly who was behind this act and that will really shed some light on the existence of a possibility, remote possibility of other threats.

BROWN: Right. And that will be 8:30 Eastern Time, obviously.

All right, Andy McCabe, thanks so much. Stand by for us, if you would. More on this breaking news right after this break.



BROWN (voice over): We are turning to our breaking news this hour in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The city's own Facebook page was live streaming its annual Christmas parade when you catch a horrifying image.

As marchers come down the street, you can see a red SUV tearing past them, presumably right before it slammed into dozens of people. That report coming from onlookers at the scene. And we have learned more than 20 people were hurt. The mayor and chief of police just gave an update moments ago.



REILLY: Tonight was a traumatic, situation for the city of Waukesha. we don't have all the details. We can't provide details at this point. But we will have a press conference at 7:30. And to speak now is our police chief, Dan Thompson.

THOMPSON Good evening. Approximately 4:39 P.M. -- and I will just give a brief summary -- we will do a formal briefing at 7:30 -- but about 4:39 P.M., a red SUV drove into our Christmas parade that we were holding downtown. More than 20 individuals were injured, as a result of this incident.

We -- the Waukesha Police Department has recovered a suspect vehicle. It's an ongoing investigation. Victims were actually transported from the scene via ambulance. Officers actually transported some of the injured personnel and took them to the hospitals and some victims were actually transported by family members or friends to the hospital. It was a very tragic incident, very chaotic.

There is no other threats involved. We -- the scene is now safe. Again, it's very tragic incident and my prayers and thoughts go out to the family members and we will give a formal briefing at 7:30. Thank you.

REPORTER: Can you talk about a suspect?

REPORTER: Do you have a person in custody?

THOMPSON: We have a person of interest that we are looking into at this time.

REPORTER: In custody?

THOMPSON: Like I said, we have a person of interest. I have to get more information because I don't want to give you bad information, okay? So, thank you.


BROWN: CNN's Natasha is on the scene. Natasha?

CHEN: Yes, Pamela. It's really crucial for people to hear that there is no longer a threat. One of the people who saw this happen is Angela O'Boyle. I just met you, Angela, because you were down here. You actually live in the apartment complex where the window overlooks the parade and you saw this happen. Tell me about that moment you stepped out on your balcony to watch the parade.

ANGELA O'BOYLE, WITNESS: Well, I was watching it for my kids to say, I wish you were here, and then the next thing I heard were screams and turned my head and saw the car come and plow into the band that was just past my balcony at that point. It hit at least two people right away, rolled over both of them and then continued down the road to by like People's Park, which is at the end of the block, and then kept going. It didn't stop. And he did not stop at all or she, whoever it was, but kept going. CHEN: Did you hear gunshots, as well?

O'BOYLE: I did not. Everyone says that but I did not hear anything. All I heard were screaming and then people yelling out their children's names. That's all I heard.

CHEN: This marching band that you saw that this car had ran into, you said this was a high school marching band? What kind of marching band?

O'BOYLE: I don't know. I missed the beginning. I literally just stepped outside, picked up my phone, hit record and all of this happened. It was perfect timing.

CHEN: Yes. So, this is obviously really, really horrible to see. What was going through your mind when you heard the screams, you saw the car? What did you think was happening?

O'BOYLE: I feel bad for the parents and kids. I couldn't imagine mine being down there or myself or anybody else that I know. It was not something I wanted to see. And the people who have watched the video I took are also shaking and just can't believe it, so a little freaked out.

CHEN: The people you saw that got hit, were they young, were they old?

O'BOYLE: They looked young to me. I don't know though because, again, I was five stories up so I have no idea exactly ages. But it was a band of some sort and that's all I know.

CHEN: And just explain where we are. You were watching this from the corner of Main and Barso (ph). And do you if this was sort of the early part of the parade? Were you watching the middle of it?

O'BOYLE: I don't know. I don't know. I came home in the middle, is what I'm guessing. I stepped outside because I was annoyed I couldn't get home fast and then I was like, oh, it's a Christmas parade and then, oh, God, here comes a guy plowing everybody down. So, I don't though what portion of the parade it was in at all.

CHEN: Did you think after this happened that there could be a further threat? Were you frightened for --

O'BOYLE: I was shook up, yes, for sure, but I didn't know what was happening because people were saying gunshots. I didn't hear gunshots. So, I'm not sure what to expect. So, I just closed my door and went back inside and waited until it was a little bit clear and then went down and talked to the police.

CHEN: So, you stayed inside just in case there was a threat of someone firing shots?

O'BOYLE: I didn't know what to expect, so, yes, I stayed inside until everything was cleared up.

CHEN: And I know you told me you don't know anyone that you know who was perhaps at the parade. Does that make you nervous right now not knowing if certain you know are okay?

O'BOYLE: I'm assuming my friends are all okay. I was looking at Facebook and no one is saying that they're injured or family members are injured that personally, but I don't know who was here and who wasn't.

CHEN: How fast did you see and hear response from police and ambulance --


O'BOYLE: They were coming down the street before he even hit the people. They were already behind him -- I think this is the middle of the parade maybe or a portion of blocks up but they were already running after him. And it was instant that the crowd ran into the people who were injured as well.

CHEN: So, you saw a lot of people jump into action right away even though they were frightened, there were screams but people were really helping I remember immediately?

O'BOYLE: Yes, yes, for sure, everybody was. People grabbed people and brought them into our building, too. So, yes, everybody helped that was down there. So --

CHEN: What did you see as far as people brought into your building?

O'BOYLE: I just saw them when they were leaving. My neighbor took some people in to get them off the street so that everyone can do their job. And then we all walked out together and we shared our videos with the police and that was the end of that.

CHEN: What does this feel like to you right now just trying to process what you saw?

O'BOYLE: Bizarre. I've never seen anything like it. And it just happened to be right time, right place for the video that I took and not something I ever want to see again.

CHEN: And I think that you mentioned that the screams that you heard, the parents calling out their kids' names, that's what kind of sticks with you?

O'BOYLE: That happened after. When the car went to the -- hit everybody on the left side and the band members kind of all ran to the right and down the block and around the block, then you saw the parents coming from up the block screaming for their kids who either didn't come through the parade yet or were in it. I don't know.

CHEN: Okay. I know you've been through a lot today and --

O'BOYLE: Not as much as those people.

CHEN: That's true. It is also very cold. So, I'm going to let Angela go here. But this is obviously a very shocking event for everyone who was, again, Pamela, like we were saying in a celebratory mood. There was a marching band. There were families there, people that we saw with small children coming through even after we arrived just holding them tight, bringing them away from the scene here.

So, where we are is next to the incident command several blocks away from the parade route. They're trying to keep us back for obvious reasons and we're still just trying to figure out exactly what happened here tonight, Pamela.

BROWN (voice over): Of course. And it's just incredible hearing her recounting the story. And just amid all of this, amid the mayhem, they don't know what is going on that they were all like jumped in to help and help their neighbors amid the chaos.

Again, I mean, she said or other eyewitness said people were yelling, shots fired. Again, we don't know if that was the case, the circumstances around. But for all they knew, it was worst worst-case scenario and they were jumping in to help.

We know from the police chief that 20-plus people were injured. She said that the one she saw looked young. Do we know anything more about how serious the injuries are? Anything else about the victims in this case, Natasha?

CHEN: Not yet, Pamela. That's something I think everyone really wants to know because what they saw was so horrifying and the reaction so emotional, of course, with parents just so concerned for their kids who perhaps participate in the parade, perhaps watching the parade.

And so I think that's something everybody is really eager to find out right now, that I could see the looks on people's faces as they were walking through on their phones trying to find out more information. We do know that there is a family reunification spot so, hopefully, that will be helpful to the people trying to find more information about their loved ones, Pamela.

BROWN (voice over): Absolutely, Natasha Chen, thank you for bringing us the latest there from Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Joining me by phone is Kaylee Staral. She is a Business Reporting Intern at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Kaylee, thanks so much for joining us.

You were at the parade. What did you see?

KAYLEE STARAL, BUSINESS REPORTING INTERN, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL (voice over): Yes, Pamela. So, it was a holiday parade and a lot of children, a lot of families, a lot of young children going out for the first time since the pandemic. So, the dancing grannies (ph) have just passed in the parade. There was a dance team that had just passed. And then all of a sudden you hear a lot of screaming. And so a red SUV probably going, I would say, at least 30 miles per hour came barreling down the street, so the middle of the street, and it hit a lot of the people in the parade.

BROWN (voice over): And so we're seeing video right now of a car going very fast down the parade route. We don't know if this was indeed the car but does this look like -- where does this scene that we see right here fit into what you recall?

STARAL: So, I was right downtown on the Main Street and the police came running up shortly after the car had passed us and they were saying that 30 people are down and the police were saying that shots were fired. Of course, I can't confirm that for sure or not. But everyone got up and was screaming and running around and crying, you know, a lot of people with kids trying to get safely into stores, out of the way.


BROWN: What was going through your mind as this was all unfolding?