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Police: Multiple Fatalities After Car Hits Christmas Parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 21, 2021 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: At any moment, we're expecting a news conference on the unfolding tragedy in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The latest updates have been grim. Police confirmed multiple people were killed, more than 20 injured when a vehicle ploughed into a crowd of people gathered for a holiday parade.
Some of the videos are terrifying including one shot by Angela O'Boyle. We want to warn you it is disturbing. She videotaped from her balcony as the SUV bore down on members of a marching band.
We edited out the actual moments of impact and showed you the aftermath there and all the mayhem that ensued.
CNN's Natasha Chen was at that police briefing. She joins us now as we await another briefing tonight.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Pamela, we are waiting for the police chief, the mayor, the fire chief to give us a new update in just a couple of minutes here. They did come out and speak with us about an hour ago.
And there are a few key points I want to remind folks as to the new information they gave then. First, more than 20 people were injured today in this incident, including children. There are multiple fatalities, although they would not say the exact number of the people killed. We tried to ask about that, but it seems they are still trying to inform loved ones next of kin, informed family members, and frankly, still treating a lot of people in hospitals, six different hospitals, in fact.
They also said they have a person of interest in custody, and they have the suspect vehicle located as well. Another key point is that initially we heard some witnesses say they heard gunshots. Well, the police chief said he does not believe that there were shots actually fired from the vehicle. In fact, law enforcement on scene had fired their weapon at the suspect vehicle to try to stop it. So, that may be the gunfire that people heard on scene.
I know that we just played that video from Angela O'Boyle, she first shared that with me, and it's just devastating to see, especially that marching band and you see the drum flying there. And, you know, that is the shock and horror that people experienced as they were trying to celebrate today in that holiday festival Christmas parade.
And, you know, there are a lot of questions about motive here, whether this person may have been fleeing, whether this person intentionally came through the crowd, that was asked at the last press conference. Frankly, authorities don't have enough information at the moment to give us clear answers on that.
And here they come, so I'm going to get out of the way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good evening. We're ready for another updates. Police Chief Dan Thompson will be providing the update.
CHIEF DAN THOMPSON, WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN POLICE: Thank you.
Here's some further information that we can provide. Waukesha public schools will be close tomorrow. Requesting that everyone continued to stay away from the scene. The roads will remain closed at least 24 hours.
If you live in an area where roads are closed and you need access to your home, for pets or medication you can park in lot 12 where the Farmers Market is held. Go to the clock tower, ensure proper identification. There'll be an officer there who escort you to your home, you'll then need to remain in place in your home until the roads are reopened.
We're working with Waukesha Medical Examiner's Office to confirm the identities of the fatalities. We're also working in -- this is the most important thing is, the families of this tragic event and making sure that the next of kin is conducted and that we're working with the families. That is our priority in this tragic incident.
With that, I'm not going to give you the numbers of the -- numbers of deceased at this time. Why? Because we have to make sure next of kin is completed.
I also want to inform you that there's a family reception center at Waukesha South High School. For families that are looking for family members, our members are looking for family members. If you're looking for family members and live out of town, please call this number 262- 548-7122. That's 262-548-7122. Also this location will be counselling services available at the school.
We also let you know that 1:00 tomorrow, Monday, November 22, we will be prepared to conduct a press conference here City Hall and to provide more information regarding this tragic incident.
Thank you. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're not taking any questions at this time. As the chief said, 1:00 p.m. tomorrow will be the next full press conference. Any updates between now and then will be provided on the city's social media accounts.
We will also be posting the statement that the chief read. Some of those numbers we'll be putting out on the city's social media account as well so that you have all that information.
BROWN: With me now, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and Corporate Security Consultant Jonathan Wackrow. Also with me, Charles Ramsey, CNN's Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, the former D.C. Police Chief and former Philadelphia Police Commissioner.
Chief Ramsey, we just heard there from the police chief there in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He couldn't give us a lot of information understandably because this is still very early on in the investigation. He said that they are working with a medical examiner's office to identify those who died from this incident earlier today at this holiday parade when a SUV, a red SUV, just ploughed through and struck more than 20 people. And again, he said there were multiple fatalities.
Chief Ramsey, we also know that there was a person of interest, as they said, who was in custody. What do you want to know at this hour?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I'm sure they're in a process now of debriefing individual that they have in custody to see whether -- see if they can come up with a motive. Now this person may or may not be speaking with the police. It may have gotten a lawyer, I mean, who knows at this point in time, but it's a very sensitive part of the period of time in the investigation, because information is just beginning to come out.
One thing that I see that's a bit on the strange side, it may mean absolutely nothing. But the vehicle does pass a lot of people including other marching bands, and it's not until they get to this one that it kind of veers into it. So I don't know.
I don't know the age of the individual, any association with a particular school or group. I mean, these are all questions that, you know, investigators will be trying to find out right now. But in the meantime, there are a lot of families that are really, really suffering right now. This is just a tragedy beyond imagination.
BROWN: It really is. I mean, this is the time that families should be enjoying themselves and celebrating. And you know, we heard that this holiday parade was cancelled last year because of the pandemic, so finally, they can get together.
And you know, we see this little girl wearing the pink and the car just barely misses her, Jonathan, as it zooms on by. And, you know, fortunately did not strike her, but we know that victims, some of the victims were kids. We don't know who makes up the fatalities. But it's just a tragedy all the way around. But we should be careful to say we don't know the motive at this hour.
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That's exactly correct. We don't know the motive. What we do know is the consequence of this action. We know that there are multiple fatalities. We know that many people are receiving horrible phone calls this evening, you know, from officials notifying them of loved ones that have been deceased.
This is a real tragic, tragic situation. But again, we know the consequences, but we just don't know the intent of that driver. And again, you know, we've been trying to, you know, piece together what we can over the last few hours from the video in trying to assess well.
That vehicle past one marching van -- one marching band, but then moved on and struck another. Why? Why did, you know, why were those people injured and other people not? Again, a lot of information that's just unknown.
We do know that the individual is in custody, whether or not she or he is speaking with law enforcement. We did not get any indication from Chief Thompson during the press conference that the suspect is cooperating. But what we did get from that earlier was that they're still asking people to stay away from this area. Why? Because it's a massive crime scene.
I think that the video that's taken from the balcony actually speaks to that. You see, just the level of destruction that this individual had caused by ramming this vehicle into, you know, multiple individuals. You see how chaotic it is. So, this is a massive crime scene. Law enforcement and officials are asking people to stay away.
But again, we're really at the beginning of this investigative process. There's a lot that we don't know. What we do know is that there are, you know, children involved, we know that there are multiple fatalities, and that there are a lot of injuries. And again, just a tragic, tragic, evening or afternoon for what should have been a really joyous moment for the community.
BROWN: I just keep going back to that image of that child there having so much fun and then the car zooms by. It's just so awful. And to think about those families and what they're going through tonight. And the kids who did witness this, it's just -- it's so awful.
One thing that was interesting, Chief Ramsey, we'd heard earlier in the evening that they -- some of the eyewitnesses said that there were shots fired. We did learn from the press conference that an officer discharged his weapon to try to stop the vehicle. What do you make of that?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, normally, it's prohibited to shoot at a moving vehicle. However, there can be exigent circumstances, this certainly would fall under that where the use of a firearm would be something that would be allowed or would be reasonable. It depends on when and where he fired. I mean, you know, the problem with firing at a moving car is, one, I mean, it is moving, you do not necessarily have a clear background when you're firing. So, if you miss, miss the individual, that bullet could easily, you know, penetrate the vehicle and strike an innocent person and so forth. So there are a lot of things to consider.
And so, I don't know at what point in time the shots were fired. Was it -- were you shooting down (ph) when it broke through barricades that's early on versus another point in time when they're actually trying to stop the vehicle? So that's going to be something that's under investigation as well to find out whether or not the actions of that particular officer at that point in time was reasonable.
But it's unfortunate, in the age of terrorism, and we've seen it in London, we've seen in other places where people have used vehicles to have an attack and create mass casualties. And if that's the case, then you have to stop that vehicle. So again, you know, that's all part of the investigation. And a lot of things will depend on, you know, the actions of the officer and whether or not it made sense.
BROWN: Right. And again, in that moment, right, that officer didn't have all the context and understanding of the situation. So, you know, there's a lot more to learn on that front as well.
Thank you both. Stand by, we have more to discuss tonight.
Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes just tweeted, "My heart is with Waukesha tonight in the aftermath of this horrific tragedy. My thoughts are with victims and their families, and my gratitude is with first responders and those who mobilized to save others." He went on to say, "Keep the people of Waukesha in your hearts."
We'll be right back.
BROWN: We are back now with our breaking news out of Waukesha, Wisconsin where chaos broke out at a holiday parade earlier this evening. Here's what we know so far, one person is in custody, purportedly the driver of an SUV that blew past police barricades and into the parade. More than 20 people are injured including children, and multiple people are dead. We are still waiting for the police to identify the suspect or a motive.
And earlier tonight, we heard from one man who was at the parade and saw the tragedy unfold.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELITO TENORIO, EYEWITNESS: I'm an alderman at the City of West Allis, not too far from Waukesha, and a candidate for Wisconsin State Treasurer. So I was marching in the parade with Waukesha County Democrats. And after the -- after we had finished the route, my family and I and my campaign manager, we decided we wanted to circle back and go ahead back to Main Street to watch the rest of the parade, grab some food. But as we were heading back to Main Street, I saw an SUV speeding along the parade route. And then all of a sudden heard a loud bang. And then I heard deafening cries, screams from people in attendance (ph), people marching in the parade. Folks are running away from the scene. And folks were -- left their belongings behind, holding on to their kids, running away from Main Street where the parade was.
And then when the crowd cleared out, it looked like that there were people on the ground who were struck by the vehicle. And then, it happened also quickly. And then first responders came in, ambulances, police officers came in and secured the area. But it was truly horrifying and shocking and very saddening and upsetting.
BROWN: Because you were in the parade, it was celebratory, as we heard from other eyewitness -- witnesses. You go through the parade route, and then this happens. What was going through your mind as this mayhem was unfolding?
TENORIO: I was truly horrified. Like the energy at the parade before everything happened was celebratory. This is a huge event in the city of Waukesha. Folks were -- I was really impressed by the turnout, people came together to celebrate. But when I saw the vehicle speed and when I heard that love bang I was in shock, I'm still a bit shaken.
And a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear, a lot of scaredness for me and my family when this was all occurring.
BROWN: When you saw the vehicle, can you describe any more about what you saw? And I know it happened really fast, and you're probably thinking about your safety and your family's safety, but what did you observe with the vehicle?
TENORIO: So, I really just got a quick glimpse of it. I saw it speeding along the parade route. I heard the engine really putting the throttle down and then heard the loud bang. And then from there, it happened so fast.
There was a lot of -- it was a chaotic scene. And it was a very, very sad scene and a very, very horrifying. So yes, there's a lot of emotions running through folks. Parents were running around the area, looking for their kids, looking for their families, looking for their friends. People quickly trying to get out of the area, trying to get to safety. So there's so much going on when it all happened.
BROWN: Do you know what the loud bang was?
TENORIO: I'm not exactly sure. But from what I guess it was the vehicle striking the crowd, striking people, ending our marching in the parade.
BROWN: And did you know anyone who was injured? We know more than 20 people injured. Do you know anyone?
TENORIO: No. I don't know any of the victims. I'm very lucky that my family and friends are all accounted for. So my heart is with the victims.
BROWN: The ones that were on the ground, those that you did see, were they young? Could you tell? I know there were a lot of young people in this parade.
TENORIO: It was hard to tell. But it did look like there were small children who were lying on the ground. I just saw small bodies lying almost lifeless on the ground. So it was really hard to tell, and it was so much happening all at one time.
BROWN: That's just awful. I mean, it's just awful. And we're still trying to find out more about why this happened. We know police said that they're looking into a person of interest, that they have located the vehicle. But so many unanswered questions that we hope we'll get, you know, answers to coming up in this press conference.
Angelito Tenorio, I'm glad you and your family were saved. Thank you for coming on to share your story with us.
TENORIO: Thank you for having me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Our breaking news continues after this short break.
BROWN: Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the tragedy unfolding in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Multiple people are dead, and at least 28 people are in hospitals after a vehicle ploughed into a crowd of people gathered to march in and watch the holiday parade.
Some of the videos are terrifying, including one by Angela O'Boyle. We do want to warn you it is disturbing. She videotaped this from her balcony as the SUV bore down on members of a marching band.
We edited out the actual moments of impact and showed you the aftermath there.
Earlier this hour police gave us a brief update.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMPSON: This information that we can provide. Waukesha public schools will be close tomorrow. Requesting that everyone continue to stay away from the scene. The roads will remain closed at least 24 hours.
If you live in an area where roads are closed and you need access to your home, for pets or medication you can park in Lot 12 where the Farmers Market is held. Go to the clock tower, ensure proper identification. There will be an officer there who escort you to your home. You'll then need to remain a place in your home until the roads are reopened.
We're working with Waukesha Medical Examiner's Office to confirm the identities of the fatalities. We're also working in -- this is the most important thing is, the families of this tragic event and making sure that the next of kin is deducted. And that we're working with the families. That is our priority in this tragic incident.
With that, I'm not going to give you the numbers of the -- numbers of deceased at this time. Why? Because we have to make sure the next of kin is completed.
I also want to inform you that there's a family reception center at Waukesha South High School. For families that are looking for family members, our members are looking for family members. If you're looking for family members who live out of town, please call this number 262- 548-7122. That's 262-548-7122. Also this location will be counselling services available at the school.
We also let you know that the 1:00 tomorrow, Monday, November 22, we will be prepared to conduct a press conference here at City Hall to provide more information regarding this tragic incident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: CNN's Natasha Chen was at that police briefing and joins us now. You've also been speaking to eye witnesses. Natasha, what's the latest?
CHEN: Well, Pamela, we really didn't get to ask a single question at that last update. That statement that you just heard from the police, he read that, and then they stopped for the evening.
Now, the earlier update an hour before that had some critical information for us, including the fact that more than 20 people were injured. We now know at least 28, including 15 children being treated at one hospital. That hospital told us that as of 8:00 p.m., local time, there were no fatalities that they had at their facility. So, there's a lot still to be figured out here.
As you heard from the police chief, he's unwilling to give an exact number of the people killed, they're still working on notifying next of kin.
Another important thing that he had said in the earlier press conference was that when people heard gunfire during this really horrifying moment, he does not believe that those gunshots actually came from the suspect vehicle. He said that law enforcement on scene actually discharged their weapon and attempts to stop the suspect vehicle that may be the gunfire that people heard. They also talked about a person of interest being in custody, a suspect vehicle being located.
So, a lot of the questions that we are hoping to ask potentially we could get to them tomorrow. They have announced a press conference in the early afternoon. That's the next full update that we'll be getting.
As you've just played the video from Angela O'Boyle, I did speak to her, you know, she walked out on her balcony late this afternoon in hopes of, you know, seeing and recording this Christmas parade for her kids to see because they weren't there. And for all the families that were on the street on Main Street, celebrating this moment, having a good time. You know, this was absolutely devastating and shocking to them. Angela told me that, you know, she heard the scream, she heard parents calling out their children's names. She saw the vehicle, run through a marching band in the middle of that parade.
So, there's a lot that this entire community is really taking in tonight. I saw some people walking on the streets, really, with a look of shock on their faces on their phones trying to figure out information. But as you heard from the police chief there, they do have a reunification centre, and hopefully some more information as time passes for those loved ones trying to really get to the bottom of this and understand what happened. Clearly, we don't have a motive yet. And the authorities here didn't want to speculate on that, as they're still early on in the investigation. Pamela?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: No doubt about that this community is grieving tonight after this tragedy happened at the holiday parade that was joyous, celebratory, and then this happened. The mayhem and more than 20 people injured, multiple fatalities, kids as well were among the victims. We don't know who exactly was among the fatalities, and hopefully we'll find those answers out tomorrow.
Natasha Chen, thank you so much.
Our breaking news continues after this short break.
BROWN: We're back now with our breaking news out of Wisconsin where police have confirmed a suspect is in custody after an SUV blew past police and drove into a crowd attending a holiday parade there. More than 28 people are injured including multiple children, and at least one person is confirmed dead.
The police chief we heard earlier tonight said that there were multiple fatalities that they're working with the medical examiner for identification and they're also notifying next up kin.
I would like to bring in CNN law enforcement analyst Peter Licata. He was a supervisory special agent for the FBI. CNN law enforcement analyst Anthony Barksdale, was the acting Baltimore police commissioner. And Charles Ramsey is a CNN senior law enforcement analyst, he was DC's police chief and Philadelphia's police commissioner.
Where to start. Chief Ramsey, what is going on in the investigation right now? I imagine it is very active.
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Though it is very active. I mean, you have a crime scene, a massive crime scene that has to be processed. You've got witnesses that need to be interviewed. And then you've got a suspect in custody that you're trying to interview if they're willing to speak with you to find out exactly what happened. They've got a process the vehicle, probably getting search warrants. They know this individual is, his house, any other place that he might be using, they would get search warrants to search to see what evidence they could find. Computers, pull hard drives, I mean, there's an awful lot that has to take place now, because you've got an individual in custody.
I don't know where this is going to go right now. But this could very well be an intentional act, which makes it criminal and they're going to be very careful to make sure they build a solid case.
BROWN: Let's talk a little bit more about that Peter, the idea of whether this was an intentional act. We've seen multiple videos now tonight and there have been videos where the car could hit people, could hit parade goers, could hit the marching band and it didn't. But then we know right here in this screen grab right here is when the SUV ploughed into the crowd. What does that tell you?
PETER LICATA, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: The bottom line, it's just another senseless act of violence in the United States for what reason we don't quite know. That's part of what the investigation as the Chief Ramsey had mentioned, will take place. Prosecutors from the state government and from the federal government are being rounded up tonight. They're being called to write affidavits or to draft affidavits for search warrants for arrest warrants that will help facilitate the process of this investigation. No aspect of the motive or the opportunity will be dismissed. So, is it terrorism, we can't dismiss that out right away.
So a very deliberate and methodical process will take place between investigators and prosecutors from all levels of government to ensure that due diligence is done to ensure that this investigation is conducted thoroughly. And to ensure that this individual, this person in custody is properly interviewed miranda rights.
So there are no glitches with regard to potential prosecution to understand if there are any people that enable this individual if it was, in fact intentional, to conduct this app to find out what the motivation was, and to continue to assist and facilitate a very deliberate and methodical investigation.
BROWN: Anthony, I want to bring you in, because as we know, the suspect is in custody. What we don't know is whether the suspect is talking with police. If you were able to interview the suspect, what do you want to know? What do you -- what would you be asking him? ANTHONY BARKSDALE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I want to know the motive. Why. Chief Ramsey made a solid point that we don't know for sure what it is. And we have to be sure that they get it right. This isn't something where we're going to violate any laws. We have to get it right when were in a box during the interrogation with the suspect and motivation would be a key factor. Because is this an act of terrorism? Was this person -- is this a DWI gone wrong? Was he running from the police? We don't know. But we need to know the motive for the tragedy caused by this individual.
BROWN: We do and we know, Chief Ramsey, we found out at the press conference that an officer discharged his weapon. Initially, we knew that there were shots fired, or that's what eye witnesses were told. And now we know those shots came from the police officer. I want to talk a little bit about that and whether police trained for such a scenario as this.
RAMSEY: Well, first of all, many departments prohibit firing at a moving vehicle unless exigent circumstances exist. Now, this would obviously put it in that category. But one part of the investigation not so much a criminal investigation, but an internal investigation, would be looking into those shots that were fired at what point in time was that gun discharged. And the difficulty with shooting in a moving vehicle is that the background is not always clear. I mean, if you miss you could very easily strike an innocent person. But the reality of the world we're in right now is that people will use a vehicle to commit mass murder. We saw it in London a couple years ago when that took place.
I mean, and so if that does happen and an officer, the only way to stop that vehicle is to shoot and kill the driver. And that's exactly what they're going to do. But they're going to have to find out under what circumstances did that take place? Was it reasonable at the time they discharged from the fire at that vehicle? Fortunately, nobody was hit as (INAUDIBLE) that's my understanding. Nobody was hit. But that's one of those cases that it's going to be looked at very closely internally.
BROWN: I'm curious, just from a legal standpoint, you know, you said they need to just determine whether this was intentional. What if though, again, without with since we don't have all the facts, we don't know all the details, what if it was the scenario where it was a DUI gone wrong? What would that mean, as far as charges would go, Chief Ramsey?
RAMSEY: I don't quite know what your DUI gone wrong.
BROWN: Yes. DUI, exactly, a DUI gone wrong. I mean, you know, it's sort of like how do you decide? Well, yes, go ahead.
RAMSEY: I mean, if he's driving under the influence, obviously that makes it criminal and of itself. But again, we don't know was it a malfunction in the vehicle? I mean, did was the gas pedal stuck I mean you know all these things have to be answered. Right now a lot of speculation but until they're able to really interview this driver, if he's willing to talk, interview witnesses, interview family members, pull up the computer to find out if there's anything on the hard drive that would target this particular event by this person. I mean, there's an awful lot of work that has to be done before we actually have a picture as to what actually took place.
But in the meantime, the most sensitive part of any investigation is notifying family members if you have a fatality. And right now, that's what they're doing. And really, my thoughts and prayers are really with those family members that are dealing with an just unimaginable tragedy.
BROWN: We're all thinking about them tonight. It's just -- it is unthinkable.
But Anthony, you know, going back to the question of whether, you know, this was intentional or not, and trying to determine that people might hear that and be confused thinking, of course, I mean, how could this not be? But what are the range of possibilities that authorities are looking at right now?
BARKSDALE: And I think Chief Ramsey had summed it up. I mean, you -- it could be a range of things here. Is it an act of terrorism? Is it a DWI? Is there a vehicle malfunction? Is there a medical emergency? The -- those that are investigating here that are dealing with this individual have to extract that from them. And again, to another point that Chief Ramsey may that's if the person talks, this person may not talk. So, they need to take their time and figure out what was the reason behind this tragedy.
BROWN: Peter Licata, Anthony Barksdale, Charles Ramsey, thank you for your insight.
And the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has released a statement confirming that they have members who have been injured in the parade tragedy. It reads, our prayers are with the people who have been injured and killed during the tragic incident at Waukesha, among the injured are one of our Catholic priests, as well as multiple parishioners, and Waukesha Catholic school children. Please join us in prayer for all those involved, their families, and those who are traumatized from witnessing the horrible scene.
We'll be right back.
BROWN: And welcome back to our continuing coverage of the tragedy unfolding in Wisconsin. Multiple people are dead and at least 28 people are in hospitals after a vehicle ploughed into a crowd of people gathered to march in and watch a holiday parade. And earlier I spoke to a witness Caylee Sterile (ph). Here's what she told me.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CAYLEE STERILE (PH), WITNESS: We were at the parade. And there were a lot of families with small children there. Probably around 20 to 30 minutes into the parade, a red SUV came running down the middle of the street. So, there were a lot of screens, and we almost thought maybe it was (inaudible). But it was a red SUV and it hit a lot of people. After the SUV last there were multiple people on the ground. And the police came through a little bit later saying at least 30 on the ground, and police said that shots were fired. I cannot confirm that for you. But that is what the police said.
BROWN (voice-over): So was anything said as this was happening from the driver of this vehicle of this red SUV, as you describe? Did you hear anything? Are there any other details or color you can provide?
STERILE (PH): No (ph). Nothing. It happened really quick. And the car was going very fast. But I don't believe the driver said anything. It was just -- it was a lot of screaming.
BROWN (voice-over): And was it clear to you that this driver was trying to run over people?
STERILE (PH): I can't tell you for sure or not. But it was going very fast. And it -- you know, it was in the middle of the street, not like they somehow missed that there was a parade happening.
BROWN (voice-over): Right, that's what I'm trying to create the picture up. So basically you have this parade going on in Waukesha then suddenly, this red SUV comes. And these again, describe to us the circumstances of the parade, where the car was and so forth.
STERILE (PH): It is the annual holiday Waukesha parade and I believe that it was on a hiatus because of COVID. So this was its first year back and around 20 to 30 minutes in the downtown part of the city. There were lots of -- 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 was 30 miles per hour.
BROWN (voice-over): Wow. And what did you witness when that happened in terms of hitting people? You said that there were families there. There were children there. What did you see?
STERILE (PH): A lot of a lot of family members have small children were running into 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's the four people in front of me were still breathing but they were down they were not moving.
BROWN (voice-over): 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 --
STERILE (PH): Yes, no.
BROWN (voice-over): OK. It sounds like it was just pure mayhem.
STERILE (PH): To a lot of people by shock, a lot of people were just there for a good time to get back into the holiday season. That I think a lot of people are just in shock right now.
BROWN: Wisconsin's lawmakers have been sending out messages of support tonight and we got this statement from the governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers. Kathy and I are praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families and community members affected by this senseless act. I am 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.
And we have this tweet from Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin. The horrific violence at the Waukesha Christmas Parade is just heartbreaking. Please keep the victims in your prayers tonight.
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson tweeted, my thoughts and prayers are for everyone injured in Waukesha's Christmas parade. My gratitude for all law enforcement, medical personnel and community members who are responding.
Well, thank you so much for joining me this evening. I'm Pamela Brown. "STATE OF THE UNION," is next.