About 18 children were inside the Stepping Stones Child Care when the SUV slammed into the brick building on the city's north side about 12:15 p.m., Lt. Jeff Duhamell said.
Kara Hardister, who runs the day care, said the crash sent bricks flying into a room for 3-year-olds just before their nap time.
One of the four children was in critical condition at Methodist Hospital, while the other three had non-life-threatening injuries, Duhamell said. A woman working at the day care center suffered a broken leg, and another person was injured in a separate car accident related to the chase, he said. Duhamell released no details on that accident except to say that that person also was taken to a hospital.
Officers were chasing the SUV following an armed robbery at a nearby Family Dollar store when the crash occurred, Duhamell said. Police later apprehended two people, he said.
Tenants in a nearby building said the crash sounded like gunfire. The SUV remained lodged in the side of the day care more than an hour later.
Whittney Rutland said she raced to the day care center to check on her 3-year-old son, Armohni (ar-MON'-ee) Preswood, after hearing about the crash. She ran through the police tape and found out that her son was safe and had been taken to another day care center nearby.
"I ran through there and stuff was dropping out of my purse," she said. "I was so scared."
Hardister said 40 to 45 children are typically in the building midday, but about two dozen were away on a field trip at the time of the crash.
"It's just senseless, just senseless, that innocent people have to go through this," she said.