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WAUKESHA – A treasured rite of the holiday season turned into a scene of bloody, violent mayhem late Sunday afternoon as a vehicle plowed into the Waukesha Christmas Parade, leaving more than 20 people injured, including children, and shaking the community, authorities said.

There were some fatalities but a figure was not released as authorities sought to notify families.

Eleven adults and 12 children were ferried to local hospitals.

Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly called the incident a “horrible and senseless act.”

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said that around 4:39 p.m. a red SUV drove into the Christmas Parade “and more than 20 people were injured as a result of this incident.”

A suspect vehicle was recovered and a “person of interest” was in custody, the police chief said. People were transported to hospitals via ambulances and police vehicles, he added.

“Very tragic incident, very chaotic,” Thompson said.

The red SUV broke through the barriers west bound.  

He said the “scene was now safe.”

The incident occurred during one of the city’s biggest and most cherished annual events. A joyous crowd lined both sides of the road, people bundled against the cold.

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