Multiple dead and 40 hurt as 4×4 plows into Christmas parade celebration

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Five people have been killed and 40 injured as a car ploughed through a crowd as a Christmas parade turned to horror.

Witnesses reported gunshot sounds following the incident the tragic event in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and at least 12 children are believed to be among those mowed down, according to a local reporter on the scene.

Police have evacuated the area after the red Ford Escape "sent bodies flying" at around 4:40 pm local time (10:40pm UK time).

Police have a suspect who is known under his stage name MathBoi Fly on Facebook, where he has posted a rap music video featuring the red SUV.

An unverified video on Twitter shows a 4×4 breaking through a barricade while gunshot noises can be heard in the background, which the New York Post reports were coming from the driver of the car.

Recordings of the city council's Livestream of the parade also show the vehicle driving down the street at high speed in front of a crowd of shocked onlookers.

Witness, Braden Kowalski told Fox News: "[The driver is] just blowing through people, kind of just dinging a lot of people, bodies flying everywhere.

"These people didn’t get run over, they got f*****g thrown through the air. Like a lot of people got tossed up into the air.

"There were quite a few people with broken limbs, like a lot of broken legs, a lot of people shouting with broken legs. It was horrifying.”

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Other witnesses have detailed that a dance team of young girls "between nine and 15 years old" may have been hit by the vehicle.

A spokesman for Children’s Wisconsin told the New York Times that the hospital, which treats only pediatric patients, had admitted 15 people on Sunday but details of their condition were not confirmed.

The Aurora Medical Center–Summit, said in a statement that it was treating 13 patients, including three in critical condition.

Froedtert Hospital also confirmed that they had received patients but did not specify how many.

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Local police Chief Dan Thompson stated in a press conference that the vehicle struck more than 40 individuals, including 12 children, the Sun reports.

Members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies were among the victims killed during the tragedy, a Facebook post confirmed.

“The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devastated by this terrible tragedy with of loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade,” the group wrote.

According to the Independent, members of a youth dancing troupe, The Waukesha Xtreme Dance Team, have also been named among those injured in the attack.

The Catholic Community of Waukesha confirmed on Facebook that “several parishioners” had been injured.

He also confirmed that a suspect is in custody as part of a "fluid investigation" as they make "working with families" of the victims their top priority at this time.

According to Heavy, police scanner audio revealed that the suspect gave the name Darrell Brooks Jr. to officers who allegedly found him inside the vehicle at his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Brooks Jr. is also known under his stage name MathBoi Fly on Facebook, where he has posted a rap music video featuring the red SUV.

Local journalist Kayle Staral wrote: "A car just ran through the middle of a downtown Waukesha.l parade. (sic) Multiple people on the ground were injured.

"Police shouting at least 30 people down and that shots were fired."

"Heavy police and ambulance presence now. Tons of families with children running to their cars to leave the scene."

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A witness said the driver had hit “several elderly women” while firing rounds of their gun from the car window.

Around an hour after the incident, Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly stated that there was no longer a danger to the public.

Despite this, local people still appeared concerned for their safety in comments made on the local police department's Facebook page.

Responding to a post from Waukesha Police Department advising the public of a family relocation centre at the Metro Transit Center, one resident named Erik Knudson wrote: "How will people in hiding know if it's safe to leave?"

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Another called Lori Ann said: "Praying for the families affected"

Fire Chief Steve Howard confirmed eleven adults and 12 children were transported to six nearby hospitals.

Officials also noted during the press conference that they do not believe shots were fired from the vehicle.

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Mayor of Waukesha, Shawn Reilly, claims that there was no longer a threat to the community of 70,000 residents.

The FBI tweeted regarding the incident: "Our local law enforcement partners are the primary responding entities in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

"The FBI is providing assistance. It is standard practice for the FBI to assist our local law enforcement partners."

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