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US: Driver to face homicide charges for deaths at Wisconsin Christmas parade

'Some fatalities,' more than 20 hurt after vehicle plows through parade in Wisconsin

  'Some fatalities,' more than 20 hurt after vehicle plows through parade in Wisconsin 'Some fatalities,' more than 20 hurt after vehicle plows through parade in Wisconsin(Reuters) -At least some people were killed when a sports utility vehicle sped through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, bowling over at least 20 people including several youngsters waving pompoms and a group of "Dancing Grannies".

(Corrects title of Sue Opper in paragraph 6)

Car plows through holiday parade in Wisconsin © Reuters/STRINGER Car plows through holiday parade in Wisconsin

By Brendan O'Brien and Cheney Orr

WAUKESHA, Wis. (Reuters) -The man accused of deliberately driving his car into a crowded Milwaukee-area Christmas parade over the weekend, killing five people and injuring dozens of others, was suspected in an earlier domestic disturbance, police said on Monday.

Car plows through holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin © Reuters/JORDAN WOYNILKO Car plows through holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin

The suspect, Darrell Brooks, 39, was arrested near the scene of Sunday's vehicular attack in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and faces five counts of first-degree homicide, Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson said.

Joy turns to horror as SUV speeds into Christmas parade

  Joy turns to horror as SUV speeds into Christmas parade WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A joyous scene of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats and waving pompoms turned deadly in an instant, as an SUV sped through a barricade and into a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee while spectators watched in horror. One video showed a woman screaming, “Oh my God!” repeatedly as a group of young dancers was struck Sunday. A father talked of going “from one crumpled body to the other” in search of his daughter. Members of a “Dancing Grannies” club were among those hit. © Provided by Associated Press A police officer uses a flashlight while looking for evidence in downtown Waukesha, Wis.

In addition to the five people killed - ranging in age from 52 to 81 - another 48 were injured, including six children who remained hospitalized in critical condition on Monday, authorities said.

Car ploughs through holiday parade in Wisconsin © Reuters/CHENEY ORR Car ploughs through holiday parade in Wisconsin

Among the victims were members of a parade group calling themselves the "Dancing Grannies," according to a statement posted on Facebook on Monday.

Thompson said the motive for the attack was still a mystery but that it was clear the suspect had acted intentionally.

"He drove right through the barricades and the officers," Thompson told a briefing, adding the authorities had ruled out terrorism as a motive. Sue Opper, the Waukesha County district attorney, said the suspect was believed to have acted alone.

Wisconsin Christmas parade live updates: 81-year-old, 79-year-old among the 5 killed

  Wisconsin Christmas parade live updates: 81-year-old, 79-year-old among the 5 killed Five people were killed and more than 40 others injured when a car plowed into a Christmas parade in Wisconsin.The suspect, 39-year-old Darrell Brooks, is in custody, authorities said.

Police were not pursuing Brooks when he plowed into the parade, but one officer fired shots to try to stop the sports utility vehicle, the police chief said.

Car plows through holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin © Reuters/JORDAN WOYNILKO Car plows through holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin

"Minutes after the incident occurred, I responded to the scene," Thompson said. "And what I saw out of chaos and tragedy was heroes -- first responders in the community coming together and working together on triaging victims."

Car plows through holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin © Reuters/JORDAN WOYNILKO Car plows through holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin

The FBI was assisting local police in their investigation.


Video: SUV slams into Wisconsin Christmas parade, causing multiple deaths and over 40 injuries (USA TODAY)

Brooks has a criminal history and was recently released on $1,000 bail, an amount the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office called "inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges" against him. Brooks was charged on Nov. 5 with obstructing an officer, battery, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and felony bail jumping.

Suspect in Wisconsin parade attack charged with homicide, court sets bail at $5 million

  Suspect in Wisconsin parade attack charged with homicide, court sets bail at $5 million Suspect in Wisconsin parade attack charged with homicide, court sets bail at $5 millionWAUKESHA, Wis. (Reuters) -The man accused of driving his vehicle into a traditional Christmas parade near Milwaukee made his first court appearance on Tuesday since the weekend rampage and was charged with homicide, as the death toll rose to six.

Around the time of Sunday's carnage, police also had received a complaint of a domestic disturbance involving Brooks and a knife but were unable to respond because they were preoccupied with the parade, Thompson said.

"Was there an initial complaint of a knife being involved? Yes," he said. "Do we know if there actually was one there? We don't."

The chief said investigators had no information suggesting Brooks, a resident of Milwaukee, knew anyone in the parade.

'STILL TOTALLY SHOCKED'

Police identified the five dead as Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.

On the morning after Sunday's carnage, a pink hat, a lone shoe and candy lay strewn across the main thoroughfare in Waukesha.

Dozens of orange evidence circles were painted on the street and most shops were closed in the city's downtown district. A woman tied a bouquet of flowers to a street post as police officers blocked intersections along the main road.

"It was terrifying," Waukesha resident Brian Hoffman, 33, who was present as the vehicle rammed through parade attendees, recalled as he sat on a stoop near the scene on Monday. "I saw children who were run over. ... I am still totally shocked."

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Video of the incident posted on social media showed a red SUV racing alongside the parade route and then into the procession, appearing to run over more than a dozen people before bystanders ran from sidewalks to help.

The Children's Wisconsin hospital officials said at a briefing they treated 18 children, including six who remained in critical condition and three in serious condition on Monday.

The rest were in fair condition or released. The hospital made no mention of any fatalities.

A message posted on Monday by the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies Facebook page paid tribute to those who lost their lives as "the glue ... (that) held us together."

"Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed.....[with the] joy of being a Grannie," read the message https://www.facebook.com/Milwaukeedancingrannies. "Our hearts are heavy at this most difficult time."

Waukesha schools were closed on Monday, and additional counselors were to be made available for students, the school district superintendent said. Waukesha authorities said a fund for the affected families https://wccf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=3559 had been set up.

U.S. President Joe Biden said his administration was monitoring the situation in Waukesha "very closely."

"The entire community is struggling, struggling to cope with these horrific acts of violence," Biden told reporters on Monday.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien and Cheney Orr in Waukesha, Wisconsin; Additional reporting by Peter Szekely and Tyler Clifford in New York; Mark Hosenball, Katharine Jackson and Christopher Gallagher in Washington; and Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Writing by Maria Caspani; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

6th Intentional Homicide Charge Added For Driver Who Crashed Into Wisconsin Christmas Parade .
The sixth charge is for victim Jackson Sparks, an 8-year-old boy who was walking in the parade with his 12-year-old brother Tucker, who was also injured.The sixth charge is for victim Jackson Sparks, an 8-year-old boy who was walking in the parade with his 12-year-old brother Tucker, who was also injured in the crash, The Associated Press reported. If convicted, each charge has a life sentence.

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