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.
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.
One person is in custody. The incident does not appear “at this time” to be an act of terrorism, one official said.
The suspect appeared to have been fleeing another scene when he ran into people at the parade, the law enforcement official, CBS reported.
Local resident Angelito Tenorio told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper he had just finished marching in the parade when the SUV “put the pedal to the metal and just [started] zooming full speed along the parade route” at about 16:40 on Sunday.
“Then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle,” he said.
Corey Montiho said his daughter’s dance team was hit by the SUV.
“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.
The parade in Waukesha – a community of about 72,000 located to the west of Milwaukee – is traditionally held every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and includes fancy dress, floats, dancers and marching bands. This year’s theme was “comfort and joy”.
Families line by sides of the road to watch the event. The parade was returning after a year’s absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Police officers ran down the street during the incident, telling people to take shelter in shops. Police chief Dan Thompson told reporters that officers had fired at the car to try to stop it.
Chief Thompson said officers had recovered a “suspect vehicle” and a person of interest was in custody, but gave no further details. He added that the investigation was “very fluid”.
Officials in Waukesha warned that the number of fatalities and injuries could change as additional information is collected. They said some people had transported themselves to local hospitals.
Mayor Shawn Reilly described the incident as a “horrible, senseless tragedy”.
“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.