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Officials identify driver who allegedly sped through Wisconsin parade, killing 5 and injuring 40

1 year 1 week 1 day ago Monday, November 22 2021 Nov 22, 2021 November 22, 2021 8:05 AM November 22, 2021 in News
Source: BBC News

WAUKESHA, Wisconsin— The driver of the SUV that sped through a Christmas parade in Wisconsin, killing at least five people and injuring 40 has been identified by authorities. 

According to BBC News, 39-year-old Darrell Edward Brooks Jr. of Milwaukee, was behind the wheel of the red SUV that careened into the Waukesha-area parade.

The incident does not appear "at this time" to be an act of terrorism, officials say, and some add that Brooks may have been fleeing the scene of another crime, possibly a knife fight, when he drove his vehicle into the parade. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper says Brooks faces at least five criminal charges, including a count of domestic abuse and battery as he'd been released from jail on bond only two days before this incident. 

Eighteen children who required hospitalization were among the injured at the parade, according to  the Children's Wisconsin pediatric hospital. The ages of those injured ranged from three to 16 and included three sets of siblings, medical staff said. Ten children had to be treated in the intensive care unit.

A local resident named Angelito Tenorio told the Journal Sentinel he'd just finished marching in the parade when the SUV "put the pedal to the metal and just [started] zooming full speed along the parade route." 

"Then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle," he said.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee reported that one of its priests, multiple parishioners and students at a local Catholic school were among the injured.

The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies posted on its Facebook page early Monday that some of its members had been killed. The group’s profile describes them as a “group of grannies that meet once a week to practice routines for summer and winter parades.”

“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,” the post said.

“Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed ... joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue ... held us together.”

The parade in Waukesha, which is a community of about 72,000 that's located to the west of Milwaukee, is an annual tradition.

Held on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, its participants don their best outfits and entertain crowds with floats as well as dancing and marching bands.

The 2021 parade's theme was "comfort and joy."

In view of Sunday's tragic events at the parade, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff across the state in honor of the victims.

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