Waukesha Police confirmed the casualties on Sunday night (local time) but warned the numbers could change.
“At this time, we can confirm that 5 people are deceased and over 40 are injured,” the Waukesha Police said in a Facebook post.
“However, these numbers may change as we collect additional information. Many people have self-transported to area hospitals. The Police Department has the person of interest in custody.”
Waukesha authorities confirm fatalities at Christmas parade
The Police said Main Street will be closed until at least mid-day Monday, urging affected businesses to remain closed as entry and exit will be barred.
“The scene is still fluid, and the investigation is ongoing,” the Police Department said.
“The community mourns the loss of our community members and those injured. We are asking for the community to come together during this time and to keep the families in your prayers.”
The Waukesha Police Chief, Daniel Thompson, described the scene, telling reporters that children were among those hit by the car.
“The Waukesha Christmas parade was taking place when a red SUV broke through the barricades, westbound, headed down Main Street,” Mr Thompson said.
“The vehicle struck more than 20 individuals, some of the individuals were children and there were some fatalities as a result of this incident,” he said.
Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson speaks at a press conference following an incident where an SUV drove through pedestrians at a holiday parade, killing at least five and injuring 40 more. Picture: Getty
Mr Thompson also said it was not yet known whether the incident was terrorist related.
The City of Waukesha was celebrating its 58th annual Christmas parade before the vehicle crashed through parade barriers and drove into a mass of performers at around 4:40pm (local time).
Among those injured were girls aged between nine and 15 from the Waukesha Xtreme Dance youth troupe, while a priest, parishioners and Waukesha Catholic schoolchildren were hospitalised.
A local real estate agency, RE/MAX, also confirmed one person in their marching group sustained a knee injury and members of Waukesha South High School’s marching band were also hit.
Following the incident, the White House offered its support to officials who were helping in the investigation.
“The White House is closely monitoring the situation in Waukesha and our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by this terrible incident,” the Biden White House said in a statement to ABC News.
Total of 23 people taken to hospital after US Christmas parade car incident
“We have reached out to state and local officials to offer any support and assistance as needed.”
Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly called the incident a “horrible and senseless act” in a press conference on Sunday.
“My heart goes out to all those affected by this senseless act,” he said.
“My heart goes out to those injured, as well as to their families.
“My heart goes out to those who are witness to these events.
“My heart goes out to those who lost a loved one tonight.”
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers also offered his condolences to those affected by the “senseless act”.
“Kathy and I are praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act. I’m grateful for the first responders and folks who acted quickly to help, and we are in contact with local partners as we await more information,” Mr Evers tweeted.
Schools in the City of Waukesha will remain closed on Monday (local time).

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