Waukesha Christmas parade: Police ID 5 victims killed after SUV barrels through crowd

WAUKESHA, Wis. — At least five people are dead and more than 40 injured after an SUV barreled through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday afternoon, according to city officials.

>> PHOTOS: 5 dead, dozens hurt after SUV plows into Wisconsin holiday parade

Here are the latest updates:

Update 4:33 p.m. EST Nov. 22: Waukesha Chief of Police Dan Thompson on Monday identified the five victims killed when an SUV plowed into the city’s annual holiday parade, injuring another 48 people.

Those who died included Virginia Sorenson, 79; Tamara Durand, 52; LeAnna Owen, 71; Jane Kulich, 52; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81, The New York Times reported.

Update 3:03 p.m. EST Nov. 22: Officials confirmed during a Monday news conference that 18 children, including three sets of siblings, were treated for injuries after an SUV plowed into the Waukesha Christmas Parade on Sunday evening.

Amy Drendel, director of Children’s Wisconsin’s emergency department and trauma center, said that the children ranged in age from 3 to 16.

“Injuries ranged from facial abrasions to broken bones to serious head injuries. Six of these patients were sent to the operating room last night and two additional patients are undergoing surgeries today,” she added.

Mayor Shawn Reilly said during the news conference that the entire community “experienced a senseless tragedy,” but he noted that Waukesha is a “community that helps their neighbors, takes pride in its identity and has a wonderful spirit.”

A community prayer vigil is slated for 5 p.m. CST at Cutler Park, he added.

Update 2:35 p.m. EST Nov. 22: Waukesha Chief of Police Daniel Thompson confirmed during a Monday afternoon news conference that Darrell Brooks Jr., the suspect in the deadly parade crash, is facing five counts of intentional homicide with more charges possible.

Officials also confirmed that the victims killed in Sunday’s tragedy ranged in age from 52 to 81, including four women and one man. The names of the victims will be released within the hour.

When asked to describe the scene he encountered upon arrival, Thompson said simply: “Just carnage.”

He also confirmed that of the injured, two are children still listed in critical condition.

Update 2:18 p.m. EST Nov. 22: Waukesha officials confirmed during a Monday afternoon news conference that Darrell Brooks Jr., the person of interest in custody, is the suspect in Sunday’s deadly parade crash.

Waukesha Chief of Police Daniel Thompson said during a Monday afternoon news conference that officials believe the 39-year-old acted alone.

Thompson also confirmed that Brooks was involved in a domestic dispute immediately prior to driving his SUV through the Sunday afternoon parade.

Update 1:34 p.m. EST Nov. 22: On Monday afternoon, President Joe Biden delivered the following remarks about the parade incident:

“I want to comment on the tragedy that occurred last night during a holiday parade in Wisconsin,” he said. “While we don’t have all the facts and details yet, we know this morning that five families in Waukesha are facing fresh grief of a life without a loved one. At least 40 Americans are suffering from injuries, some of them in critical condition, and an entire community is struggling, struggling to cope with the horrific act of violence.”

He continued: “Last night, the people of Waukesha were gathered to celebrate the start of the season of hope and togetherness and Thanksgiving. This morning, Jill and I and the entire Biden family, and I’m sure all of us, pray that that same spirit is going to embrace and lift up all the victims of this tragedy, bringing comfort to those recovering from the injuries and wrapping the families of those who died in the support of their community. We’re all grateful for the extraordinary work of first responders, from law enforcement to emergency room doctors, who are working around the clock to deal with the terrible consequences of what happened last night. My administration is monitoring the situation very closely.”

Update 1:12 p.m. EST Nov. 22: Six pediatric patients underwent surgery last night, and another two are undergoing surgery today, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin tweeted shortly before 1 p.m. EST Monday.

Of the 18 children treated by the facility, two were discharged Sunday night, while 16 were admitted to the hospital, officials said.

Update 12:18 p.m. EST Nov. 22: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin officials said that of the 18 children treated after the Waukesha Christmas parade incident, 10 are in intensive care, The Associated Press is reporting. At least six are in critical condition, while three others are in serious condition, the hospital said. One child remains in fair condition.

Update 11:57 a.m. EST Nov. 22: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin said it helped to treat 18 children who were injured in the Waukesha Christmas parade incident Sunday.

The hospital will provide an update on the patients in a news conference at noon EST Monday, the facility said in a Facebook post.

Statement about the incident at the Waukesha Christmas Parade Monday, Nov. 22 1:03 p.m. Video of news conference with...

Posted by Children's Wisconsin on Sunday, November 21, 2021

Update 10:33 a.m. EST Nov. 22: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki released the following statement after the deadly incident in Wisconsin:

“[President Joe Biden] was briefed last night on the tragic situation in Waukesha, and he will receive regular updates,” Psaki tweeted shortly after 6 a.m. EST Monday. “Our team is in close touch with local officials to offer any support and assistance needed. Our hearts are with the families and the entire community.”

Former President Donald Trump also issued a statement, describing the incident as “devastating, horrible” and “sick.”

“My heart goes out to the people of this great, beautiful and hardworking community,” Trump’s statement read. “We must find the answers to this terrible crime and stop these violent and depraved acts from happening again. I am with you Waukesha, and always will be!”

Update 10:04 a.m. EST Nov. 22: The man who was taken into police custody following the deadly incident is 39-year-old Darrell Brooks Jr., two law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press.

>> Darrell Brooks Jr.: What we know about person of interest in the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy

According to online court documents, a man with the same name and age was charged earlier this month with reckless homicide, resisting or obstructing an officer, battery, bail jumping and disorderly conduct, the AP reported. He also was charged with reckless endangerment and illegally possessing a firearm in July 2020, according to the news agency.

Update 8:32 a.m. EST Nov. 22: Authorities are trying to determine whether the driver of the SUV that plowed through the Christmas parade had been fleeing the scene of another crime, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press early Monday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the previous crime involved an altercation with a knife, the AP reported.

Update 4:47 a.m. EST Nov. 22: “At this time, we can confirm that 5 people are deceased and over 40 are injured,” the city government posted on its social media sites late Sunday.

“However, these numbers may change as we collect additional information,” it added.

The carnage was captured by the city’s livestream of the annual event, as well as by onlookers’ cellphone videos.

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One video shows a woman screaming, “Oh my God!” repeatedly after a group of girls wearing Santa hats and dancing with white pompoms is struck. Another shows the SUV plowing into members of a marching band.

Update 10:19 p.m. EST Nov. 21: Waukesha Chief of Police Dan Thompson confirmed to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that during the incident “an officer discharged his weapon at the suspect vehicle to try to stop the vehicle. No bystanders were injured as a result of the weapon discharge.”

Meanwhile, Chris Germain, co-owner of the Aspire Dance Center studio, told The Associated Press that he had about 70 girls in the parade ranging from as young as 2 being pulled in wagons to age 18. Germain, whose own 3-year-old daughter was in the parade, said he was driving at the head of their entry when he saw a maroon SUV that “just blazed right past us.”

A police officer followed on foot chasing the vehicle, and Germain said that he jumped out of his own SUV and gathered the girls who were with him.

“There were small children laying all over the road. There were police officers and EMTs doing CPR on multiple members of the parade,” he told the AP.

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, who was at the parade but left just before the incident, called it “an unspeakable tragedy, affecting us all as we work to overcome an extremely challenging two years and resume our cherished holiday traditions.”

This year’s parade, sponsored annually by the city’s Chamber of Commerce, was the 59th edition.

Update 9:18 p.m. EST Nov. 21: Waukesha Chief of Police Dan Thompson confirmed late Sunday to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that a “person of interest” is in custody and that multiple died, but he declined to provide additional details.

According to the newspaper, 23 people were transported to six area hospitals following the incident, including 12 children.

It was not immediately clear how many other wounded persons were taken to hospitals by family, friends and onlookers.

Update 9:05 p.m. EST Nov. 21: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a statement Sunday night.

Update 8:48 p.m. EST Nov. 21: In a Sunday night news conference, Mayor Shawn Reilly called the incident a “traumatic situation for the City of Waukesha.”

Meanwhile, Waukesha Chief of Police Dan Thompson confirmed that there is a “person of interest we’re looking into” and that “the scene was now safe,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Corey Montiho, a School District of Waukesha board member, described the horrific scene he encountered after learning his daughter’s youth dance team had been struck by the vehicle

“There were pom-poms and shoes and spilled hot chocolate everywhere,” Montiho told the newspaper.

“I had to go from one crumpled body to the other to find my daughter. My wife and two daughters were almost hit. Please pray for everybody. Please pray. My family is safe but many are not. I held one little girl’s head in my hand, she was seizing and she was bleeding out of her ears. I held her mother as she collapsed. Please pray,” he added.

Update 8:17 p.m. EST Nov. 21: Although the investigation is ongoing, Waukesha Chief of Police Dan Thompson confirmed to TMJ4 that a “suspect vehicle” has been recovered.

The conditions of the injured were not immediately available.

Original report: The incident was live-streamed on the city of Waukesha’s official Facebook page. A video provided to TMJ4 shows a vehicle driving through a bustling section of the parade before hitting at least half a dozen people. The car continued to drive through the parade and then the video ended.

Eyewitnesses told TMJ4 that the driver of the vehicle also fired shots out of the window as they drove through the parade.

A live video feed of the parade from the city of Waukesha, as well as videos taken by multiple parade attendees, showed a red SUV plowing through barriers and speeding onto the roadway where the parade was taking place.

A reunification center has been set up near the metro transit center by Bank Street, TMJ4 reported.

Meanwhile, police in Waukesha, located about 20 miles west of Milwaukee, urged people to avoid the downtown area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.