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Waukesha, Wisconsin, Christmas parade crash: Suspect could face 5 counts of intentional homicide

WAUKESHA, Wis. (TCD) — A 39-year-old man was taken into custody Sunday after he allegedly drove his SUV through a local Christmas parade, injuring dozens of people, including five fatally.

The Waukesha Christmas Parade kicked off at 4 p.m. Sunday, but it turned tragic when a red SUV made its way onto the parade route and struck parade participants. The Waukesha Police Department confirmed five people died and at least 40 people are injured. The department said that number could change as they “collect additional information.”

The Associated Press reports 18 children between the ages of 3 to 16 were taken to Children’s Wisconsin Hospital. Six patients reportedly underwent surgery on Sunday. Nine patients were in critical condition and seven were in serious condition.

The Waukesha Police Department and city of Waukesha announced they took 39-year-old Darrell Brooks into custody. According to CNN, Brooks faces five charges of first-degree intentional homicide.

Police Chief Dan Thompson said in a press conference, “At this time, the Waukesha Police Department is referring five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, with additional charges based on the investigation.”

The Waukesha Police Department announced the names of the five victims. They were identified as 79-year-old Virginia Sorenson; 71-year-old LeAnna Owen; 52-year-old Tamara Durand; 52-year-old Jane Kulich; and 81-year-old Wilhelm Hospel.

Brooks was reportedly charged earlier this month regarding a domestic abuse incident as well as resisting or obstructing an officer. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Brooks allegedly ran over a woman with his car after they had an argument. She was reportedly hospitalized. Brooks posted $1,000 bond on Friday. According to The Associated Press, police reportedly believe Brooks was running from another crime involving a knife when he drove through the parade.

On Nov. 5, Brooks was charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety, felony bail jumping, battery, obstructing an officer, and disorderly conduct. He posted $1,000 bail on Nov. 11, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

District Attorney John Chisholm said in his statement the bail recommendation was “inappropriately low in light of the nature pf the recent charges and the pending charges against Mr. Brooks.” The office is reportedly “conducting an internal review of the decision to make the recent bail recommendation.”

The group Milwaukee Dancing Grannies announced on Facebook that some of their members died. They are describe as a “group of grannies that meet once a week to practice routines for summer and winter parades.”

Milwaukee Dancing Grannies wrote, “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.”

Additionally, a Catholic priest “as well as multiple parishioners and Waukesha Catholic school children” were injured, according to a post from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

MORE:

Waukesha Police Department FacebookA person plowed their SUV through the Waukesha Christmas Parade, leaving five dead and more than 40 injured authorities say – Milwaukee Journal SentinelSuspect in Waukesha Christmas Parade incident has been identified as Darrell Brooks Jr. – Milwaukee Journal SentinelSUV driver in parade crash may have been fleeing a crime – The Associated PressMilwaukee Dancing Grannies FacebookArchdiocese of Milwaukee FacebookMilwaukee County District Attorney’s Office