(New York) This was a sign of a certain default in Waukesha, a small town in Wisconsin. After a one-year hiatus due to a corona virus outbreak, the traditional Christmas parade was held again on Sunday in this suburb 30 km west of Milwaukee.
But the reassuring line of citizens and politicians marched and danced to the tune of marching bands on Main Street, which turned out to be a nightmare at 4:39 pm when a red SUV driver broke through the barriers and entered the crowd. The vehicle struck at least 20 people, including 11 adults and 12 children, killing several.
“Today our community is facing the horror and tragedy of what should have been a community celebration,” Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly told a news conference in the evening, lamenting “a horrible and foolish act.”
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson announced the arrest of an interested person and the recovery of the SUV. He said a police officer opened fire on the vehicle in an attempt to stop the vehicle.
“No one was injured when the weapon was removed,” he said.
He did not put forward any hypotheses to explain the play. Witnesses described the SUV driver as male, but police did not confirm this information. The next press conference for city officials is scheduled for Monday at 1 p.m.
According to videos posted on social media on Sunday, the vehicle rolled off without hitting several march participants and spectators before approaching a small group at the end of the road.
“My dance troupe was about to turn the corner to finish the parade,” he wrote Press Lindsay Eckert, who hosted a dance troupe.
I turned to face the faces of my dancers and saw a red SUV race through the crowd. The car passed our group. A parent drags a student off the road.
Lindsay Eckert led the dance troupe to the parade
No member of Lindsay Eckert’s team was injured.
“But about [20 mètres] Behind us, we could see many bodies on the street, surrounded by people trying to help them, ”he added.
Corey Monteiho, one of his daughters who took part in the parade as part of the dance troupe, was one of those involved in the rescue effort.
“Everywhere there were palm palms, shoes and spilled hot chocolate,” he said Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel This member of the Waukesha School Board. “I had to move from one collapsed body to another to find my daughter. My wife and two daughters were almost affected. Pray for all. Pray. My family is safe, but many are not safe. I held the head of a little girl in my hand and she had seizures and bleeding from the ear. I caught her mother falling. Pray. ”
Members of the dance troupe Milwaukee Dancing Gronis were also attacked.
“Please keep the grandmothers, the wounded and all those who witnessed this horrific event in your thoughts and prayers”, the only criterion is to be a grandmother on the group’s Facebook page on Sunday evening.
After passing the SUV, the city of Waukesha was quickly cordoned off by police. At 6 p.m., police declared the place safe again.
Support messages were pouring in from everywhere.
“Kathy and I are praying for Waukesha tonight and for all the children, families and community members affected by this foolish act,” Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers tweeted.
The White House says it is closely monitoring the situation in Waukesha.
“We are wholeheartedly with all those affected by this horrific incident,” he added.
The city of Waukesha, with a population of over 71,000, is the county seat of the same name, according to the 2020 census. A district that has occupied an essential place in Wisconsin’s political life, it is the state’s most important and undiminished Republican stronghold.
Lyndon Johnson was the last Democrat to win the 1964 presidential election. In 2008, when Barack Obama defeated Republican presidential candidate John McCain by 13.9 percent in Wisconsin, he lost the district by 25.7 percent.
This brings Wisconsin back into focus for the second time in a few days. Last Friday, the Kenosha arbitral tribunal acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse, a white teenager who had killed two men with an AR-15 on August 25, 2020, in the wake of protests against racism and police brutality in the southern city. Of the state.
Repeated truck attacks
Sunday’s truck attack in Wisconsin is not an isolated case: this type of crime has been committed in many cities around the world in recent years.
On June 6, 2021, five members of a Muslim family were broken into in London, Ontario. The driver, 20-year-old Nathaniel Weldman, deliberately attacked the family because of his faith. Salman Afzal, his wife Madiha Salman, their daughter Yumna Salman and Mr. Afzal’s mother, Dalat Afzal, was killed while walking on the sidewalk. The couple’s 9-year-old son was seriously injured. Nathaniel Weldman faces four premeditated murders and one attempted murder.
On April 23, 2018, the driver of a white pickup truck killed 10 people and injured 16 others on the sidewalk of a busy Toronto street in the vicinity of North York. Nearly three years later, in March 2021, Alec Minassian was convicted in all charges against him, including 10 premeditated murders and 16 attempted murders.
The scene of a truck-ram attack in Charlottesville, W., on August 12, 2017 is a rally of white supremacists. 20-year-old neo-Nazi James Fields broke into a group of anti-racist protesters and killed someone. Activist and nearly 20 people were injured. On the same day, a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed while watching the event from above, killing the pilot and his passenger.
Promenade des Anglais, on the shores of the Mediterranean in Nice, marked July 14, 2016 by a bloody crime. The driver of the 19-ton truck rushed into the dense crowd, and the French gathered for the celebration. At least 86 people were killed. The driver of the vehicle was shot dead by police. The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
On December 19, 2016, a tragedy occurred at the Christmas market in Berlin, Germany. A truck plunged into a crowd, killing 12 people and injuring 48 others. One of the victims was found in the cabin of a black vehicle and shot dead. German Chancellor Angela Merkel sparked controversy at the time by calling the play an “act of terrorism”, citing the suspect as perhaps an asylum seeker.