(WFRV) – Two U.S. senators released a joint statement Saturday aimed towards outside groups attempting to exploit the tragedy that unfolded during the Waukesha Christmas Parade.

The statement issued by Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin read:

It has come to our attention that outside individuals or groups may attempt to exploit the tragedy that occurred last Sunday in Waukesha for their own political purposes. As the U.S. Senators representing Wisconsin, one from each political party, we are asking anyone considering such action to cease and desist.

We have full confidence in the local officials who responded with extraordinary professionalism, competence, integrity and compassion. They have many difficult duties to perform in the coming days, weeks, and months, and they should be afforded the respect and support they deserve to undertake their responsibilities without outside interference.

Their top priority is to begin the healing process within Waukesha by providing comfort and support to surviving family members of the deceased, and those injured both in body and spirit. They must also conduct a thorough investigation and afford the accused full due process. These will not be easy tasks, and will be made even more difficult if conducted within a politically charged atmosphere.

We ask everyone to demonstrate their interest and concern by praying for the victims, their families, and the entire community of Waukesha. The Waukesha Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County have also established the “United for Waukesha Community Fund” for those who wish to provide financial support for the victims.”

U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)