At least five people have been killed and more than 40 injured after a car ploughed into a Christmas parade in the US state of Wisconsin, police say.

Chief Thompson said officers had recovered a "suspect vehicle" and a person of interest was in custody, but gave no further details.

Four senior law enforcement officials have meanwhile told NBC News that investigators were examining the possibility that the suspect had been fleeing from an earlier incident involving a knife fight when he ran into the parade.

A picture captured later at an unknown location showed what appeared to be the vehicle involved backed on to a driveway with the hood badly dented and bent up.

corey montiho, a waukesha school district board member, told the milwaukee journal sentinel his daughter's dance team was hit.

another eyewitness named corey montiho, whose daughter was hit by the vehicle, told the milwaukee journal sentinel that "there were pom-poms and shoes and spilled hot chocolate everywhere.

I had to go from one crumpled body to the other to find my daughter," he told the paper.

'My wife and two daughters were almost hit.

the car drove past us and saw bodies and kids and dads not breathing," he said.

Additionally, CNN said, the sources indicated the incident was not related to last Friday's acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was 17 when he killed two men and injured one during anti-racism protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.

Kenosha is about 50 miles south-east of Waukesha.

Witnesses said that the paradegoers initially thought that the red SUV was part of the procession. It was only after the vehicle was running over people did they realize that something was wrong

The head of the fire department said that 11 adults, including a priest, and 12 children were rushed to six different hospitals in the area.

"Members of the group and volunteers were impacted and we are waiting for word on their conditions," the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies said on their Facebook page.

The Children's Wisconsin hospital said it had received 15 patients as of 20:00, while the Aurora Medical Center-Summit said it was treating 13 people, including three in a critical condition.

People screaming.

The Christmas parade began on Sunday at 4pm, with participants starting at Main St. and Whiterock Ave. It was always intended to be a short parade, ending half a mile away at the northeast corner of Cutler Park. At 4.39pm, the red SUV is filmed speeding d

Brayden Kowalski, a 19-year-old man who grew up in Waukesha, said that he was at the parade with his family when he saw an SUV accelerate through the crowd.

One video shared on social media shows the car crashing at high speed through street barriers, while another shows the vehicle driving into what looks like a group of musicians.

The White House said it was "closely monitoring the situation" and offered support and assistance to local officers.

police chief dan thompson told reporters that officers had fired at the car to try to stop it.

A Salvation Army truck is seen above in Waukesha as investigators gathered clues at the scene

thompson said that the suv rammed into the crowd at 4:39pm local time.

A police advisory to "shelter in place" was issued and Carroll University went into lockdown.

Wisconsin attorney general Josh Kaul tweeted : "What took place in Waukesha today is sickening, and I have every confidence that those responsible will be brought to justice."

'our prayers are with the people who have been injured.

A lounge chair and other debris are seen above along the parade route in Waukesha on Sunday

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee said one of its priests, multiple parishioners and students at a local Catholic school were among the injured.

mayor shawn reilly described the incident as a "horrible, senseless tragedy".

Another appeared to show the SUV hitting members of a marching band.

Angelito Tenorio, a local alderman running for Wisconsin state treasurer, said he was at the parade with his family when he saw the red SUV approach.

Police and emergency personnel work on a crime scene in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday

"then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle.

i saw people running away or stopping crying, and there, there are people on the ground who looked like they'd been hit by the vehicle."

Police have also set up a family reunification location at Metro Transit Center near Bank Street.

Staral, an intern for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper, said the SUV plowed into the paradegoers between 20 and 30 minutes after the festivities began.

A large police presence was seen along the parade route after the tragedy in Waukesha on Sunday night

Families lined the sides of the road to watch the event, which was returning after a year's absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The witness added : 'Waukesha has some of the nicest families and people in this country.

The parade was livestreamed on the city's Facebook page.

'Kathy and I are praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act,' Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers wrote on Twitter.

A police officer cordons off a crime scene near the area where a red SUV plowed into a crowd of paradegoers

Did you witness what happened?

'We are grateful for the first responders and others who assisted the injured and comforted those in need.

School bands and a dance troupe of grannies were among those marching through the city of Waukesha when a red SUV came speeding down the road.

It hit dozens of people, including children.

Several people who attended the parade are seen in the aftermath of the incident in Waukesha on Sunday

The incident does not appear "at this time" to be an act of terrorism, one official said.

Police officers ran down the street during the incident, telling people to take shelter in shops.

Another witness told Milwaukee's Fox6 TV station that there was silence, followed by screaming, running and checking on those injured after the vehicle hit a dance team of girls aged between about nine and 15.

"Please keep the Grannies, all those injured, and all those who witnessed this horrible event in your thoughts and prayers," the group wrote on its Facebook page.

The image above shows a vehicle that matches the description of the red Ford SUV which plowed into the parade

He added that the investigation was "very fluid".

"I am deeply saddened to know that so many in our community went to a parade but ended up dealing with injury and heartache," he said.

Waukesha's public schools will be closed on Monday, and counselling services have been made available to those affected.

The red Ford Escape SUV was seen in video captured at the scene driving straight towards marching cheerleaders and band members at around 40mph, hitting around 20 people and causing the crowd that had assembled to enjoy the 58th Annual Waukesha Holiday Parade to disperse in panic.

Local police chief Dan Thompson said in a press conference that his department had taken one person of interest into custody and seized the SUV but that he did not yet know whether the driver's actions had any connection to terrorism.

witnesses described the car as having accelerated along the parade route and "bombed through" and was “ going from side to side, targeting people ”, witness tyler kotlarek said, according to the new york times.

Angelito Tenorio, an alderman in nearby West Allis, told the Associated Press that the driver "just put the pedal to the metal".

He added : "My family is safe but many are not.

Police cordon off a roadway as emergency vehicles and crews arrive in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday

I held her mother as she collapsed.

Please pray."

A shelter-in-place order was texted out to local citizens on Sunday night and parts of the city including Main Street and Barstow Street remain closed off to the public until at least midday on Monday as the investigation continues.

In what the Waukesha police chief, Dan Thompson, called a "tragic incident", a red sport SUV drove at speed into crowds in the city about 20 miles west of Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon.

The image above shows abandoned spectators' chairs near the scene of the parade

eleven adults and 12 children and there are some fatalities as a result of this incident," thompson said, declining to give more details until families were notified.

He did not comment on a possible motive.

On Monday morning, CNN reported that "multiple sources" in law enforcement believed the driver was fleeing from another crime scene or incident, and that the parade incident was not being investigated as related to domestic or international terrorism.

Eyewitnesses estimated the car was travelling at around 40mph.

Jordan Woynilko, who filmed the video above, described walking out of a pub along the parade route into a scene of despair and desperation as people tried to help those wounded by the speeding driver

In one video posted on social media on Sunday night, a red SUV appeared to speed toward marchers.

In a second video, police opened fire on the same vehicle as it crashed through barriers.

Please pray. ” Montiho said he made eye contact with the driver, the Washington Post reported.

One witness said the driver hit a group called the "Dancing Grannies".

Locals show their identifications so they can walk to their homes as police cordon off the area while they investigate

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