Five people were killed and dozens were injured after the driver of an SUV plowed into a crowd of people at the annual Waukesha Christmas Parade in Wisconsin on Sunday.
Within an hour into the parade, suspect Darrell E. Brooks, 39, “intentionally drove his maroon SUV through barricades into a crowd of people,” Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson told reporters during a news conference on Monday.
The five people killed in the crash ranged from age 52 to 81 years old, with Thompson identifying the victims as:
- Virginia Sorenson, 79
- LeAnna Owen, 71
- Tamara Durand, 52
- Jane Kulich, 52
- Wilhelm Hospel, 81
“Our prayers go out to all the victims of this tragedy. This senseless act resulted in five deaths and 48 injured (that number may rise),” city officials said in a statement.
The Waukesha Police Department also noted that trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 via the national Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990.
Brooks is being charged with five counts of homicide, Thompson said, with other charges possibly being added as the investigation continues.
Officials with Children’s Wisconsin hospital in Milwaukee said Monday that it is treating 18 children who were injured — including two who are in critical condition, Thompson said.
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a local dance troupe for grandmothers, wrote in a post on Facebook that some of their dancers were among those who were killed in the incident.
“The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are [devastated] by this terrible tragedy with … loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade,” the group wrote in its statement. “Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed [the] joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue [that] held us together.”
It was not immediately clear which of the five victims named by police were a part of the dance troupe.
The city of Waukesha is holding a prayer vigil Monday night for the victims of Sunday’s parade tragedy.
This is a developing story. Some facts reported by the media may later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene, and we will update as the situation develops.