Wisconsin parade crash suspect “was in domestic argument”
The man suspected of crashing his car in a Christmas parade in Milwaukee, killing at least five people and injuring 48, had left the scene of a marital dispute minutes earlier, the Waukesha police chief said .
Police chief Dan Thompson said there was no evidence Sunday’s crash was a terrorist attack or that the suspect, Darrell Brooks Jr, knew anyone in the parade.
The chief said police are laying five counts of intentional homicide against Brooks, 39, of Milwaukee.
A cheerful scene of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats and waving pom poms gave way to a scene of horror as the SUV drove through barricades and punched dancers, musicians and more.
Members of a Dancing Grannies club were among those killed, as was an employee of Citizens Bank.
Mr Thompson identified those killed as four women, aged 52 to 79, and an 81-year-old man.
“It looked like models thrown in the air,” said Nicole Schneiter, who was there with her children and grandchildren. “It took a second to register, like, ‘Is this really what we just saw? And then you looked down the road and there were just people lying on the road. “
At least nine patients – mostly children – were listed in critical condition Monday in two hospitals, and seven others were reported in serious condition.
Police were not chasing the suspect when he entered the parade route, the chief said, but an officer fired in an attempt to stop him but stopped firing due to danger to others. . The driver was not injured.
Brooks has two criminal cases pending in Milwaukee County. In a case, filed on November 5, he is charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, jumping on bail and assault and battery. Records show that a $ 1,000 cash bond was issued on Friday.
In the other case, filed in July 2020, Brooks is charged with reckless endangerment and illegal possession of a firearm.
In the most recent one, a woman told police that Brooks had deliberately run over her with her vehicle in the parking lot of a gas station after a fight. She was taken to hospital for her injuries.
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies posted on their Facebook page that their members “did what they loved, performed in front of crowds in a parade putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness.”
“Those who died were extremely passionate grannies. Their eyes were shining… the joy of being a Granny. They were the glue… held us together, ”the organization said.
A Roman Catholic priest, parishioners and Catholic schoolchildren in Waukesha were among those injured, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee said.
At the White House, President Joe Biden said “we don’t have all the facts and details yet” but that his administration is monitoring the situation closely.
The parade, held annually on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, is sponsored by the city’s Chamber of Commerce. This year’s event, the 59th, was themed “comfort and joy”.