Police Identify Driver Who They Claim Took Part In Christmas Parade In Waukesha, Killing 5 And Injuring 48 | Connecticut News
[Breaking news update, published at 2:49 p.m. ET]
The 39-year-old man accused of driving in the Waukesha Christmas parade could face “five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, with additional charges based on the investigation,” the chief said. Waukesha Police, Dan Thompson.
Prior to the deadly parade incident, the suspect was in a domestic dispute with another person, Thompson said. Police were unable to respond to the initial call regarding the domestic incident as they had to respond to the parade so quickly after receiving the call, the chief said.
He said there was no information that Brooks knew anyone in the parade.
[Breaking news update, published at 2:25 p.m. ET]
The sole suspect in the Wisconsin Sunday Parade tragedy “intentionally drove his brown SUV through barricades into a crowd of people celebrating the Waukesha Christmas Parade, which left five dead and 48 injured,” said Monday. Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson.
The five people killed were between the ages of 52 and 81, Thompson said.
The police chief acknowledged the heroism of bystanders at the scene, saying first responders and residents worked together to sort out the victims and make them as stable as possible.
He said officers and citizens took the victims to hospital in their personal vehicles.
[Breaking news update, published at 2:09 p.m. ET]
Authorities in Wisconsin identified the driver of a red SUV who they said entered the Waukesha Christmas parade as Darrell E. Brooks Jr., 39.
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said Brooks, 39, allegedly acted alone and was the “sole suspect” in the incident.
He said Brooks was embroiled in a family dispute just before he drove his SUV through the parade on Sunday afternoon.
Police also pointed out that there had been no police pursuit prior to the incident.
[Previous story, published at 1:18 p.m. ET]
It only took seconds for a family event to turn into a scene of confusion and carnage.
SUV smashed in Christmas parade in Wisconsin on Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring more than 40 others, officials said.
At least 18 children were hospitalized after the Waukesha Christmas Parade, said Children’s Wisconsin, a pediatric hospital near Milwaukee.
The number of people killed and injured “may change as more information is gathered. Many people have self-transported to area hospitals,” Waukesha town tweeted Monday morning.
There are indications that the driver was fleeing another incident when he made his way to the parade route, according to several police sources familiar with the findings of the preliminary investigation.
So far, there is no known link to international or domestic terrorism, and it does not appear to be related to the recent verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the sources said.
How the disaster unfolded
Families, including children in strollers, bundled up in the cold wind and lined the parade route with Main Street.
Live broadcast of the town parade showed that a marching band had just started playing “Jingle Bells” when a red SUV drove into the parade from behind. The spectators screamed in horror.
Another video captured by a parade participant showed a young girl in a pink coat and hat dancing in the street as the SUV sped past, missing her by a few yards.
Another witness, Nathan Bryce, captured video of SUV plowing barricades.
As of Monday morning, the personal effects of parade participants were still strewn around the scene as authorities attempted to confirm what had led to the calamity.
Police chief Daniel P. Thompson said officers were working with the Waukesha County medical examiner’s office to identify the victims.
Thompson said there was “a person of interest in custody,” but declined to say whether it was the driver of the SUV or whether any arrests had been made.
“It’s still a very fluid investigation,” the chief told reporters on Sunday evening. He added that children were among the injured.
A policeman from Waukesha opened fire to try to stop the driver, and no passerby was hit by the officer’s gunfire, the chief said. Thompson added that he did not believe gunshots were fired from the vehicle.
“The scene is now safe and secure,” Thompson said.
Victims include members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies
Authorities have not disclosed any details of the five people killed, but the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies said some members of the group were among the victims.
“Our group did what they loved, performing in front of the crowd in a parade putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness,” the dance troupe posted on Facebook.
“Those who died were extremely passionate grannies,” the group said.
“Our hearts are heavy at this most difficult time as more and more information and updates will be made available, they will be released. Please save them for their families, friends, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies and all who are live forever changed in your thoughts and prayers. “
At least several of the injured were in critical condition
Aurora Medical Center-Summit, a Waukesha County hospital, said it was treating 13 patients on Sunday evening: three in critical condition, four in serious condition and six in fair condition.
Milwaukee’s Froedtert Hospital – the only Level I trauma center in southeastern Wisconsin – said it was also treating patients from the parade incident but did not provide specific numbers or conditions. Level I trauma centers generally care for the most seriously ill patients.
The 18 children hospitalized at Children’s Wisconsin had injuries ranging from “facial abrasions to bone fractures to severe head injuries,” said Dr Amy Drendel, medical director of the pediatric emergency and trauma department. of Wisconsin.
Children’s ages range from 3 to 16, and those hospitalized include three groups of siblings, Drendel said.
“He hit at least two people right away and flipped over on them.”
A video obtained by CNN shows when the vehicle collided with pedestrians. A red SUV hits a person in a marching band. The vehicle then continues to move forward, hitting and crushing the other members of the party and the crowd before moving away.
Angela O’Boyle, who lives in an apartment on the fifth floor that overlooks the parade route, told CNN she was on the balcony watching the festivities.
“The next thing I heard was screaming, I turned my head and saw the car coming down into the group that was just past my balcony at the time,” said she declared.
“He hit at least two people right away and knocked them over. And then continued down the road to People’s Park which is at the end of the block – then continued, it didn’t stop. “
Boyle said he heard screams and people calling out the names of their children, adding that “it wasn’t something I wanted to see… a little freaked out”.
Kaylee Staral, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel intern who witnessed the incident, said “probably about 20-30 minutes after the parade started, a red SUV came running into the middle of the street – there was a lot of screaming – and we almost thought maybe it was Father Christmas, but it was a red SUV and it touched a lot of people. “
Staral went on to say “there were several people on the ground”.
“Right in front of me, in the little place where I was sitting, there were probably four people on the ground, so there were a lot of people running to see them,” Staral said. “I believe the four people in front of me were still breathing but they were on the ground, they weren’t moving.”
Schools closed as community mourns
Flags are to be hoisted at half mast in “all buildings, grounds and military installations” in the state, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said on Monday.
“Today I have ordered the flags of the United States and Wisconsin to be raised at their waist as we continue to pray for the community of Waukesha and the children, loved ones and neighbors whose lives have been cut short. forever changed by an unthinkable tragedy last night “, the governor tweeted.
The Waukesha School District said it canceled classes on Monday and will determine whether classes will resume on Tuesday.
“The district will have additional counselors available during the school day in all buildings for any students who may need support services,” school officials said in a statement.
The White House is in contact with state and local officials, according to a White House official, and President Joe Biden has been briefed.
“The White House is closely monitoring the situation in Waukesha and our hearts go out to all who have been affected by this terrible incident,” said a White House official. “We have contacted national and local authorities to offer any support and assistance if needed.”
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