Jeffrey Phelps / AP
Five people were killed and dozens injured after the driver of an SUV crashed into a crowd during the annual Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday.
Within an hour of the parade’s start, suspect Darrell E. Brooks, 39, “intentionally drove his brown SUV through barricades into crowds of people,” Waukesha Police Chief said Monday, Daniel Thompson, at a press conference.
The five people killed in the crash were between 52 and 81 years old, with Thompson identifying the victims as:
- Virginie Sorenson, 79 years old
- LeAnna Owen, 71
- Tamara Durand, 52 years old
- Jane Kulich, 52
- Wilhelm Hospel, 81 years old
“Our prayers go out to all victims of this tragedy. This senseless act has left five dead and 48 injured (this number could increase),” city officials said in a statement.
The Waukesha Police Department also noted that trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 through the National Disaster Hotline at 800-985-5990.
Brooks is charged with five counts of homicide, Thompson said, and more charges may be added as the investigation continues.
Officials at the Wisconsin Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee said Monday it is treating 18 injured children, including two in critical condition, Thompson said.
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a local grandmother’s dance troupe, wrote in a Facebook post that some of their dancers were among those killed in the incident.
“The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are [devastated] by this terrible tragedy with (…) deaths and injuries during the Waukesha Christmas parade, “the group wrote in their statement.” Those who died were extremely passionate grannies. Their eyes were shining [the] joy of being a granny. They were the glue [that] held us together. “
It was not immediately clear which of the five victims named by police were part of the dance troupe.
The town of Waukesha is organizing a prayer vigil Monday evening for the victims of the tragedy of the Sunday parade.
This is a developing story. Some facts reported by the media may later turn out to be inaccurate. We will focus on reports from law enforcement and other authorities, credible news outlets and journalists at the scene, and update as the situation evolves.