Waukesha Christmas Parade: Driver to be Charged with Homicide

The Waukesha official said Monday that it would seek to indict a driver who crashed into a Christmas parade on Sunday for five counts of intentional homicide.

It happened in Waukesha when hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember those who lost their lives.

Five people were killed, aged between 52 and 81, and injured 48 others, including young children, in Waukesha by Darrell Edward Brooks, who is 39 years old and lives with his family in Waukesha County.

Waukesha police said that the incident was not an act of terrorism. According to police, he was running away from a domestic dispute when he ran into the crowd.

The victims named on Monday were:

Mr. Wilhelm Hospel, 81

Ms. Virginia Sorenson, 79

Ms. Leanna Owen, 71

Ms. Tamara Durand, 52

Ms. Jane Kulich, 52

The group wrote in a statement on Facebook, “We were all doing what we loved, performing in front of huge audiences in a celebration that made people of all ages happy.

Victims of Waukesha Christmas Parade

To remember the victims, hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight vigil at Waukesha’s Cutler Park On Monday night. Braving the cold, community members gathered to hear an interfaith service read out the names of the dead, and volunteers distributed hot chocolate, sandwiches, and candles to mourners.

The crowd was told by Mayor Shaun Reilly, “This event was the beginning of many nights where we would grieve and mourn for those we had lost,” he stated.

The injured people were taken to various hospitals by first responders and other spectators who were at the parade, according to police.

According to a news released from the hospital on Monday, the number of children admitted to Children’s Wisconsin Pediatric Hospital after the accident has risen to 18.

According to emergency workers, the incident was one of the significant mass-casualty events involving youngsters in recent history. Some kids had substantial head injuries and fractured bones, according to doctors.

According to medical staff, “The injured range in age from three to 16 and Ten children were admitted to the ICU for treatment.”

Darrell Brooks

City police chief Dan Thompson told reporters at a news conference on Monday, “Darrell Brooks deliberately drove his maroon SUV through barricades and into a crowd of people which was celebrating the Waukesha Christmas parade.”

“An officer had fired shots at the vehicle but was forced to stop owing to the high number of people on the street, “He added. 

When he drove into the crowd, police say they were responding to a domestic incident involving him, and that’s why he fled. He reportedly ran through the parade after mowing down spectators with his car. According to early reports, Mr. Brooks attempted to flee a knife fight; however, police have not confirmed this information.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mr. Brooks is presently facing at least five additional criminal charges, including domestic abuse and battery, and was just released from jail on bond two days prior.

John Chisholm, a Democrat who is Milwaukee County District Attorney, said in a statement on Monday that the bail recommendation in Mr. Brooks’ open court case was “excessively cheap” given his prior convictions and pending charges.

A Loud, Screaming Noise

The parade in Waukesha, traditionally held every year before Thanksgiving, includes marching bands, fancy dress, and float dancers. The theme of this year was “comfort and joy.”

After a year of absence, families lined the sides of the road to watch the event. According to resident Angelito Tenorio, the Journal Sentinel was completing the march in the parade when the SUV “put the pedal and just [began] zooming full speed along the route” at 16:40 (22:40 GMT) on Sunday, according to Angelito Tenorio, a resident. Then we heard a loud BOOM, and just deafening screams and cries from those hit by the vehicle, “he added.

“I had to go from one body to the other to find my daughter,” said Corey Montiho, whose daughter’s dance team was hit by the SUV. There were pom-poms and shoes everywhere, as well as spilled hot chocolate. According to CBS News, Sarah Saldivar witnessed “a crimson streak” before seeing “little girls flying through the air.”

Several videos on social media, showing the vehicle smashing through street barriers at high speed and driving into what appears to be a group of musicians. During the event, police officers ran down the street urging people to seek protection in businesses.

Mayor Shawn Reilly described this parade incident as a “tragedy, horrible and senseless.” He said, “I am despondent to know that so many in our community went to a parade but ended up dealing with an injury.”

President Joe Biden expressed his condolences and said he was praying for the community and monitoring it very closely.” 

As per Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’s order, Flags throughout the state have been lowered to half-mast in memory of the people who perished.

Waukesha’s public schools were shut down for the day, and counseling services were made available to those who needed them. In addition, a communal fund has been established to assist people affected by the tragedy.

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