Waukesha, Wis. – Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson at a Monday press briefing released new information regarding the victims of Sunday night’s deadly Christmas parade attack, which resulted in at least five dead and more than 40 injured.
Law enforcement arrested suspect Darrell E. Brooks, 39, and charged him with five counts of intentional homicide. Chief Thompson stated that Brooks “intentionally drove his marron SUV through police barricades and into a crowd of people at the Waukesha Christmas Parade, which resulted in killing five individuals and injuring 48.”
Thompson explained that Brooks drove through the Christmas parade after fleeing a domestic disturbance that happened just moments prior. Police were not actively pursuing Brooks when he drove through police barricades heading towards the parade.
The chief added there is no evidence to suggest that the crash was a terrorist attack; they are “confident he acted alone.”
The press briefing further confirmed that a police officer opened fire while the suspect drove through the crowd to thwart the threat, but stopped due to the high number of civilians around. No one was injured due to the gunfire.
The City of Waukesha reportedly identified the five causalities as Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52, and Wilhelm Hospel, 81. Nine patients, most of them children, are in critical condition, and seven others in serious condition.
18 children ages 3 to 16 were transported to Children’s Wisconsin Hospital, including three sets of siblings. The patients suffer injuries ranging from scrapes, to broken bones, and serious head injuries, Dr. Amy Drendel, medical director of the emergency department, told WLWT. Six patients are currently in critical condition.
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies offered their condolences through a Facebook post, saying, “Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed … joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue … held us together.”
“Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness. While performing the grannies enjoyed hearing the crowds cheers and applause which certainly brought smiles to their faces and warmed their hearts. Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed…..joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue….held us together,” the post read.
The Archdioceses confirmed to WLWT that among those injured were Waukesha Catholic schoolchildren and a Catholic priest.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.