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Wisconsin Tragedy: Parade incident driver to be charged with murder

Watch: Witnesses recount how the Wisconsin parade crash happened

Watch: Witnesses recount how the Wisconsin parade crash happened

Waukesha Christmas Parade: Who were the victims?

Wisconsin officials will move to charge a driver who ploughed into a Christmas parade on Sunday with five counts of deliberate murder.

It comes as hundreds of people assembled for a candlelight vigil in Waukesha to call to mind those who lost their lives.

Darrell Edward Brooks Jr, 39, killed five people, aged between 52 and 81, and wounded 48 others, as well as young children, in Waukesha.

Police declared he was run away from a domestic disagreement when he mowed into the crowd.

Waukesha police as well said the incident was not an act of terrorism. a number of school children and grandparents were among the victims.

Warning: This article contains upsetting content.

The victims named on Monday were:

Mr Wilhelm Hospel, 81
Ms Virginia Sorenson, 79
Ms LeAnna Owen, 71
Ms Tamara Durand, 52
Ms Jane Kulich, 52

They comprised of members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, who are a regular fixture in the city’s parades.

“Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade putting smiles on faces of all ages,”

the group wrote in a declaration on Facebook.

“Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies.”

Waukesha Christmas Parade: Who were the victims?

REUTERS Image caption, Hundreds of people gathered in Waukesha on Monday night for a candlelight vigil

On Monday night hundreds of people, old and young congregated for a candlelight vigil at Waukesha’s Cutler Park to think of the victims. enduring bitterly cold conditions, community members listened as an interfaith service read out the names of the victims and volunteers handed out sandwiches, hot chocolate and candles to mourners.

Mayor Shawn Reilly informed the crowd that the occasion was the

“beginning of many nights where we will grieve and mourn for those we lost”.

Dozens of people despite that remain in hospital. Police stated that the wounded were taken to six area hospitals by first res-ponders as well as other residents who were at the parade.

Eighteen children were admitted after the occurrence, the Children’s Wisconsin paediatric hospital disclosed reporters on Monday.

Care providers reported the incident as one of the state’s huge mass casualty events including children in recent history. Doctors said some children sustained serious head wounds and broken bones.

The wounded range in age from three to 16 and involved three sets of siblings, medical staff said. Ten children needed treatment in the intensive care unit.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee said one of its priests, multiple parishioners and students at a local Catholic school were as well amid the injured.

MILWAUKEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Image caption,
The suspect, Darrell Brooks, poses for an earlier booking photo

What do we know about the suspect, Darrell Brooks?
“A lone subject intentionally drove his maroon SUV through barricades and into a crowd of people that was celebrating the Waukesha Christmas parade,”

Dan Thompson, city police chief told reporters at a news conference on Monday.

He added that an officer had fired shots at the vehicle, nevertheless had to stop due to the number of people on the street.

Watch: Waukesha police chief gets choked up naming victims

Police said they were attending to a domestic incident concerning Mr Brooks when he fled the scene and mowed through the parade crowd. Earlier media reports proposed he was running away from a knife fight, yet police have not confirmed those details.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper reported Mr Brooks is right now facing at least five other criminal charges – inclusive of domestic abuse and battery – and had been set free from jail on bond just two days earlier. BBC News has as well assessed the records belonging to the suspect.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat in a statement on Monday, said the bail recommendation in Mr Brooks’ open court case was

“inappropriately low in light of the nature of recent charges and the pending charges” against him.

Mr Brooks is from the city of Milwaukee, about 24 km (15 miles) east of Waukesha.

‘Deafening cries and screams’

The parade in Waukesha – a community of about 72,000 located to the west of Milwaukee – is as part of a long-established custom and practice held yearly on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, along with fancy dress, floats, dancers and marching bands. This year’s theme was

“comfort and joy”.

Families lined the sides of the road to watch the episode, which was returning after a year’s absence sequel to the corona virus epidemic.

Local resident Angelito Tenorio disclosed to the Journal Sentinel he had 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”

at about 16:40 (22:40 GMT) on Sunday.

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

Corey Montiho, whose daughter’s dance team was hit by the SUV, told the paper:

“There were pom-poms and shoes and spilled hot chocolate everywhere. I had to go from one crumpled body to the other to find my daughter.”

Sarah Saldivar, who was at the parade with her two young children, told CBS News she saw “a red blur” and then saw

“little girls flying through the air”.

CITY OF WAUKESHA/FACEBOOK VIA REUTERS
Image caption,
Video posted online showed the vehicle as it was about to hit the parade in Waukesha

One video shared on social media reveals the car crashing at high speed through street barriers, at the same time another shows the vehicle driving into what looks like a group of musicians.

Police officers ran down the street during the incident, advising people to take shelter in shops.

JESUS OCHOA/VIA REUTERS Image caption, Emergency responders and passers-by attended to injured people

Mayor Shawn Reilly chronicled the incident as a “horrible, senseless tragedy”.

“I am deeply saddened to know that so many in our community went to a parade but ended up dealing with injury and heartache,” he said.

President Joe Biden said he was praying for the community and

“monitoring the situation very closely”.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff across the state in honor of the victims.

Waukesha’s public schools were closed on Monday, and counselling services were made available to those affected.

A community fund has been created to help victims of the incident.

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