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Charges to be filed Tuesday in Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy

Car Drives Through Holiday Parade In Waukesha, Wisconsin
Jim Vondruska
Getty Images North America
Fire Chief Steve Howard speaks at a press conference at the Waukesha City Hall on Nov. 22, 2021 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Five people were killed and more than 40 others injured after a person driving an SUV entered the route of the Christmas parade and proceeded to strike dozens of people.

The suspect in the mass casualty in Waukesha has been identified.

Police say 39-year-old Darrell Brooks is suspected of killing at least five people and injuring nearly 50. During the city’s annual Christmas parade Sunday, Brooks allegedly sped through barricades and into the crowd. He is in custody and is expected to be charged with five counts of intentional first degree homicide Tuesday.

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said Monday that Brooks had left a domestic disturbance just minutes before driving through police barricades and plowing into the parade. Thompson sounded emotional as he recounted the names of the people who died: “Virginia Sorenson, 79-year-old female. LeAnna Owen, 71-year-old female. Tamara Durand, 52-year-old female. Jane Kulich, 52-year-old female. Wilhelm Hospel, 81 year old male."

Waukesha Fire Chief Steve Howard described how difficult the night was for first responders at the scene.

“It was just carnage. Likening it to a war zone. There were adults, children that were injured. Some of our first responders were there with their families. They left their families to treat people, along with many other personnel and people who were there," Howard said. "What stands out in my mind from our conversations is we do have people who have military backgrounds and who likened it to a war zone.”

The parade is a cherished part of the Waukesha community held each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

A prayer vigil for the victims was scheduled for Monday evening at Cutler Park in Waukesha.

In 2021, Simone Cazares was WUWM's Eric Von Fellow and then a reporter.
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