More details have emerged surrounding the tragedy in Waukesha, Wisconsin, that left at least five people dead and 40 injured at an annual Christmas parade on Sunday, November 21, 2021.
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said in a statement that the driver of the red SUV was Darrell Brooks, Jr. Brooks, 39, was fleeing from a “domestic disturbance with a report of a knife.”
While he was attempting to flee, he crashed over the barricades of the parade, although Thompson said that he was not being pursued by police at that time. As of Monday afternoon, Brooks has been charged with five counts of intentional homicide.
The city’s livestream footage captured the moment when the car struck a local high school band, a children’s dance group, and the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.
In a statement issued early Monday morning, they wrote, “The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devasted by this terrible tragedy with of loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade.”
They added, “Our hearts are heavy at this most difficult time, as more information and updates become available it will be posted. Please keep them their families, friends, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies and everyone who lives have forever changed in your thoughts and prayers.”
Waukesha Major Comments On ‘Horrible, Senseless Tragedy’
At a news conference held on Monday, November 22, Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly called the events a “horrible, senseless tragedy.”
“I walked in the parade at the beginning,” Reilly said. “I saw the happy children sitting on the curb. I saw happy parents behind their children. I can still see the smiling faces.”
Governor Tony Evers echoed his thoughts, saying that he and his wife Kathy were “praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act.”
Most of the deceased victims were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies dance group, with ages ranging from 52 to 81 years old. According to officials at the Children’s Wisconsin Hospital, they received eighteen patients ranging in age from three to sixteen, including three sets of siblings. Officials revealed that at least six children remain in critical condition as of Monday afternoon.
Graphic Footage Reveals A Heartbreaking Tragedy
This was recorded from the City of Waukesha’s Facebook account, which was streaming the parade.
You can see a red SUV speed right past these band members, hear screams and then a law enforcement officer running. @fox6now pic.twitter.com/8lO5oRuP1I
— Sam Kraemer (@SamKraemerTV) November 21, 2021
Footage was captured not only from the official city’s livestream page, but from onlookers who were filming the event.
The City of Waukesha’s Facebook account, which was livestreaming the parade in real-time, caught footage of a red SUV speeding down the street only seconds after a marching band can be seen walking by. Screams are immediately heard while the onlookers stare on in horror. Only seconds later, a lone police officer can be seen jogging down the street in order to catch up to the red SUV.
Reporter Sam Kraemer, who was reporting on the tragedy as it unfolded, said that one man told him that “he saw about 30 people laying in the intersection of Main & Barstow.” He also posted photos of candy and fold-up chairs that were strewn along the street, left behind in the chaos.
His final tweet came in past midnight, saying, “I’ll close with this — I will never forget what we saw when we arrived on scene. The facial expressions, frantic families running and personal belongings left behind. It’s heavy & heartbreaking, & my heart goes to those impacted by this tragedy.”