Nov 21, 2021
Waukesha, Wisconsin Press Conference Transcript: 5 Killed in Parade Attack
Waukesha, Wisconsin police held a press conference on November 21, 2021 after an SUV ran into a Christmas parade, killing 5 victims. Read the transcript of the briefing here.
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Speaker 6: (00:03)
Good evening. We’re going to go ahead and get started with this press conference. Speaking tonight, we have Mayor Shawn Riley, Chief Daniel Thompson, and Fire Chief, Steve Howard.
Shawn Riley: (00:15)
Thank you, Shawn Riley, Mayor of City of Waukesha. Today, we experienced a horrible, senseless tragedy. I walked in the parade at the beginning. I saw all the happy children sitting on the curb. I saw all the happy parents behind their children. I can still see the smiling faces. A parade is a celebration for our community. Today, our community faced horror and tragedy, in what should have been a community celebration. I’m deeply saddened to know that so many in our community went to a parade, but ended up dealing with injury and heartache. My heart goes out to all those affected by this senseless act.
Shawn Riley: (00:58)
My heart goes out to those injured, as well as to their families. My heart goes out to those who were witness to these events. My heart goes out to those who lost a loved one tonight. I want to thank all those who sprang into action tonight to provide help and comfort to those who were injured. I pray for all those that were injured, that they recover. I pray for those who lost a loved one. Thank you to our police and fire departments, as well as many others that have helped the City of Waukesha. There’s other departments. The county, the state, the federal government has contacted me. They’ve all asked how they can help. I know that our first responders are also deeply affected by the events of today, and I pray for them and that they find healing and that everyone involved in this situation finds healing. Chief.
Daniel Thompson: (01:52)
Thank you, honor. Today’s tragic incident occurred on November 21st, 2021 at 4:39 PM, at Casper Avenue and Main Street. The Waukesha Christmas parade was taking place when a red SUV drove through the barricades westbound, heading down Main Street.
Speaker 3: (02:12)
Can you speak up please?
Daniel Thompson: (02:17)
Yes, I can. The vehicle struck more than 20 individuals. Some of the individuals were children and there are some fatalities as a result of this incident. We will not be releasing information on fatalities at this time while we are working on notifying the family members of the deceased. An officer did discharge his weapon at the suspect vehicle to try to stop the vehicle. No bystanders were injured as a result of the weapon discharge. The officer involve has been with the department for six and a half years. Victims were transferred by Waukesha Fire Department to the hospital. Chief Howard will speak on that.
Daniel Thompson: (02:58)
Police officers also transferred victims to the hospital and family members also transferred victims from the scene to the hospital. We’re no longer looking for a suspect vehicle. We do have a person of interest in custody at the moment, but this is still a very fluid investigation. I was present at this tragic event and saw firsthand, the resiliency of the community coming together. I also want to thank all the law enforcement partners, both federal, state DCI, State Patrol, Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, Brookfield Police Department, [inaudible 00:03:38] Police Department, FBI, ATF, and all our other partners who responded to assist in this tragedy.
Daniel Thompson: (03:48)
It’s unknown at this time, whether the incident has any nexus to terrorism. To the families involved, you are in the Waukesha Police Department’s thoughts and prayers. To the Waukesha community, this scene is now safe and secure. I’ll take a few questions at this-
Speaker 5: (04:08)
Speaker 6: (04:08)
[inaudible 00:04:08] minute. Right now, Let Chief Howard speak about the victims.
Daniel Thompson: (04:10)
Shawn Riley: (04:11)
Steve Howard: (04:12)
Thank you. I was just going to provide you just with some brief information regarding the patients that we transported. The City of Waukesha was actually part of the parade. Normally we have an engine in the parade. As soon as the calls started coming in, we heard radio traffic and immediately responded from five of our stations. We activated our mass-casualty protocols and used the ma maintenance box alarm system and activated a box to the second alarm. That means that we received assistance, not only from our five fire stations with all personnel on duty, but from approximately 12 other fire departments. The City of Waukesha Fire Department and its partners in Mavis transported a total of 11 adults and 12 pediatric patients to six area hospitals.
Steve Howard: (05:03)
We do not have any specifics on the injuries at this time. All of the patients were transported. There were some fatalities. We do not have any detailed information on the fatalities at this time.
Shawn Riley: (05:21)
Just real quick. Sorry Chief. I was going to say, you want to mention-
Daniel Thompson: (05:27)
We’ll open up for a few questions for all three. Mayor, police-
Speaker 3: (05:30)
How many people were killed?
Daniel Thompson: (05:34)
Out of respect for the family members, we still have to make notifications, so that number and to be honest with you, the investigation’s still fluid, so I don’t have an exact number at this time to give you.
Speaker 9: (05:46)
The marching band that you see in the video, what school was that, those with the marching band, where the car drove through?
Daniel Thompson: (05:53)
I couldn’t even tell you what band was playing at that time.
Speaker 10: (05:57)
Chief, the shelter-in-place alert was issued at 7:05. It said an all clear would come. That has not come. Can you elaborate?
Daniel Thompson: (06:03)
Yes. Great question. So, the reason why that’s shelter-in- place [inaudible 00:06:07] came because we are still doing a canvas. It’s still an ongoing crime scene, so we didn’t want members of the community coming into the crime scene, so we wanted the members of the community in a shelter-in-place. So, that’s why that alert went out.
Speaker 11: (06:20)
Is that still an effect, Chief?
Speaker 12: (06:22)
Daniel Thompson: (06:23)
No, it is not.
Speaker 11: (06:25)
Was there only one suspect in the car, and was that person struck by the officer who was firing?
Daniel Thompson: (06:30)
That’s still an ongoing investigation of how many are involved at this time. We’re still working those details out.
Speaker 11: (06:36)
Can you confirm that schools are closed tomorrow? Are all schools in Waukesha closed tomorrow?
Steve Howard: (06:42)
We do not know at this-
Speaker 6: (06:43)
We cannot confirm that. One more question.
Speaker 11: (06:45)
You said earlier that-
Speaker 9: (06:45)
How long do you expect the streets to be closed?
Speaker 11: (06:47)
Excuse me. Earlier, you said you were unaware of any gunshots from the vehicle, we heard a lot about on social media. You clarify right now that the suspect driving [crosstalk 00:06:56] firearm?
Daniel Thompson: (06:56)
At this time, we don’t, we do not believe there’s any shots that were fired from the vehicle. We believe that the officers discharged a firearm to stop the vehicle, because the vehicle went through the barricade.
Speaker 11: (07:05)
What did the person of interest say when you took him into custody?
Daniel Thompson: (07:10)
That’s still unknown at this time.
Speaker 6: (07:12)
[crosstalk 00:07:12] That’s all the questions we’re going to take right now. We will be putting more information, any more information will come out in the city’s social media accounts, in regards to a further press conference or further information. That’s all we can put out tonight at this time.
Speaker 11: (07:31)
[crosstalk 00:07:31] Anything more tonight?
Speaker 13: (07:34)
[crosstalk 00:07:34] first responders saw?
Speaker 6: (07:34)
Again, I will say that any more information or information about any further press conference at will be put out on the city’s social media accounts. We just can’t confirm when that will come out, but any more information will come out in the city’s social media accounts. Just in a few minutes.
Speaker 14: (07:53)
Speaker 15: (08:06)
Okay. We’re going to do it-